H1N1 To Blame For Deadly Flu Season

By Tristan Ahtone
January 10, 2014
Centers for Disease Control
This weeks influenza estimates reported by state and territorial epidemiologists.

As of Friday, the season's flu-related death tally is as follows: California, seven deaths with 28 under investigation. New Mexico has seen one confirmed death. Arizona estimates that up to 34 people have died from flu-related complications. And in Texas, five children have died.

In both Texas and Arizona, adult flu deaths aren't reported to state health departments, so estimates are just that.

Lyn Finelli is with the Center For Disease Control's influenza division. She says in the last week, the number of doctor visits for the flu have doubled, nationally, as have the number of flu-related hospitalizations, and that the H1N1 virus is to blame.

"Last year, there was a little bit more activity at this time," said Finelli. "There was more hospitalizations at this time. Last year the elderly were harder hit than they are this year. last year was an earlier season, so last year, around this time, the flu season was peaking where we have not hit our peak yet, and that's good news, because that means there's still time to get vaccinated."

The CDC estimates that in 48 of 54 states and territories, flu can now be classified as widespread or regional.