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Worst of Flu Season Nearing End

2:49 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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(WUSA)-- The Centers for Disease Control says this severe flu season will begin to dwindle in two to three weeks across the nation, everywhere except for the West Coast, where the virus hit later.

"We're not at the end but we're nearing the end," said Michael Jhung, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He predicts two to three more weeks of higher flu activity nationwide, more in the West, and then perhaps four to six weeks of lower activity.

 Flu season hit hard on the East Coast in late December, almost a month earlier than usual, according to the CDC. The major flu strain circulating in the United States this season, H3N2, also seems to be causing more severe illness, especially in the elderly.

This season, 50% of people hospitalized for influenza were over 65, Jhung said.

So far this season, 59 children have died as a result of the flu. Numbers for adults won't be available until the flu season ends.