Flu Cases Might Have Peaked, Incidence Declining
Influenza in California might have reached its peak for the season, state health officials said, the Sacramento Bee reports.
According to health officials, the number of confirmed flu cases, flu-related hospital admissions and patient clinic visits has significantly declined in the past three weeks, after an increase in cases was reported in late December 2005.
Kaiser Permanente, which tests some patients with flu symptoms, said trends show the number of flu cases is declining, although specific numbers are not available. Data from other health care providers who alert the state to the percentage of patients with flu-like symptoms also show a decline in flu infections.
However, Carol Glaser, chief of the viral disease laboratory at the Department of Health Services, noted that the flu season is not over and that "[i]nfluenza is still unpredictable" (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 1/23).