According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, the most prevalent flu strain this season is H1N1 — the same strain that caused the 2009 pandemic and afflicts otherwise
healthy children and young adults.
Flu is now widespread in 35 states, according to the CDC. Rates are
particularly high in 13 states, mostly in the South and Southwest:
Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and
"The trend of low vaccination rates among younger adults is
particularly troubling this year, when they are more at risk than
usual for the effects of the H1N1 strain of flu that's circulating,"
said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health,
the nonprofit health advocacy group that released the latest
The analysis found that overall, 45 percent of all Americans got a
flu shot during the 2012-13 season, the most recent period for which
full season data are available. That was up slightly from 41.8
percent in the 2011-12 season.
But among U.S. adults aged 18-64, only 35.7 percent got a flu shot
during the 2012-2013 flu season. That compared with 56.6 percent of
children age 6 months to 17 years, and 66.2 percent of seniors 65
and older who were vaccinated during 2012-2013.
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Among U.S. states, vaccination rates were highest last season in
Massachusetts at 57.5 percent, and lowest in Florida at 34.1
percent. Only 12 states had vaccination rates of 50 percent or
higher: Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota and
The CDC recommends all American 6 months and older get vaccinated
(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; editing
by Dan Grebler)
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