CDC: This Flu Season Less Severe Than Last Year

MARCH 3, 2005 - Posted at 4:22 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Though Arkansas is among the states where the flu virus is widespread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this year's flu season appears to be milder than last year's.

Last year, flu cases started early and hit a high point in December.  By the end of that season, 153 children nationwide had died from the flu.  So far this season, the CDC says nine children in the U.S. have died from the flu.

Flu cases this season did not really start to increase until the end of December.  As of February 19, the latest data available, all 50 states have had at least one lab-confirmed flu case and 33 states have had widespread flu activity.  Arkansas is in the latest category.

The CDC says its flu season is not over, and the virus may still not have reached its peak in the U.S.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)