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Health officials note decline in infection rates

December 3, 2009
WASHINGTON — U.S. health officials said that H1N1 influenza A (swine flu) virus infections appear to be on the wane nationally, even as the number of American children dying from the illness continues to rise, according to the HealthDay Reporter.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention''s (CDC) latest report, "visits to doctors for influenza-like illness nationally decreased sharply this week over last week with all regions showing declines, though deaths continue to be higher than expected for this time of year."
The decline in cases means that 32 states are now reporting widespread flu activity, down from 43 states the previous week, marking a four-week decline in reported cases nationally, the story stated.
Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) at the CDC, said: "We are seeing an increase in serious pneumococcal infections around the country. Pandemics put us at risk for not just flu problems, but also bacterial pneumonia problems."
Many doctors say the declining trend of infected persons is typical with the pattern observed when the seasonal flu vaccine is administered to more and more individuals, the story noted.
The CDC''s latest report follows news that the ongoing pandemic may be driving a spike in dangerous pneumonias among younger patients, 234 of whom have died since April, the story added.
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