Flu reaches epidemic level in U.S., says CDCSubmitted by emalvini on Fri, 01/11/2013 - 22:31
Flu reaches epidemic level in U.S., says CDC
By Sharon Begley
Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:57pm EST
(Reuters) - Influenza has officially reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with 7.3 percent of deaths last week caused by pneumonia and the flu, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.
The early start and fast spread of flu this season - especially after 2011-2012's very mild outbreak - has overwhelmed doctors' offices and hospitals, forcing some patients to wait through the night to be seen in emergency departments.
Nine of the 10 U.S. regions had "elevated" flu activity last week, confirming that seasonal flu has spread across the country and reached high levels several weeks before the usual late January or February, CDC reported.
Only one region - the Southwest and California - had "normal" flu activity last week.