Flu Cases Up, Three More Flu-Related Deaths

Flu Cases Up, Three More Flu-Related Deaths

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Ed Yeates reporting Since last Friday, three more Utah adults have died from the flu.

But judging by calls to clinics and hospitals, Utah's caseload for influenza may have peaked, and might even be dropping.

The signals coming from Utah Health Department's sentinel clinics around the state appear encouraging, at least as of this day.

210 new confirmed laboratory cases and three more deaths since Friday may not seem like good news. But the State Health Department says statistics epidemiologist use to measure an outbreak like this are looking favorable.

Though the overall sickness level at hospitals like Primary Children's remains high compared to last season, it's not as bad as it was last week.

Andrew Pavia, M.D. / Pediatric Infectious Diseases, PCMC: "What it looks like based on what we're seeing is we're passed the peak. We still have a lot of influenza activity. We're down from about 125 to 130 per week - at the worst - down to about 60 to 65 proven cases per week. So definitely a drop."

Is this drop Nature's Christmas gift to all of us? Though optimistic, Dr. Andrew Pavia warns it's too early to tie the ribbon.

With schools out, there's less mixing in the classroom. And with everybody taking off work for the holidays - we may have just produced a temporary lull in the outbreak.

Andrew Pavia, M.D. / Pediatric Infectious Diseases, PCMC: "And sometimes there's a little bit of a flare up after the holidays as people come back from their travels and they bring the viruses in. But we'll just have to wait and see."

No matter what happens, the flu bug this season certainly has given the country a wake up call.

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