Flu rates rising, but still relatively low, CDC says

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The overall incidence of influenza is on the rise in the United States — particularly in the Midwest — though it is still relatively low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Doctor's office visits for flu-like illnesses for the week ending on March 3 were below regional baselines throughout the nation, but states including Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma saw high flu-like activity, CDC officials told United Press International.

The rate of hospitalization for laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu reached 2.1 per 100,000 people for that week, representing a 36% jump from the previous week. The CDC said it considers this to be a lower-than-expected increase.

Since influenza outbreaks in nursing homes can be deadly, the CDC has recommended that residents and workers receive annual flu vaccines.

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