In brief: High winds, flooding blamed in three deaths
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Strong winds and flooding led to the deaths of at least three people in the South on Thursday as powerful thunderstorms moved through several states.
In Arkansas, two people were killed as strong winds toppled trees. One man died in Jonesboro when a tree fell on his home. Another person was killed when a tree fell on a van in the town of Black Rock.
In southern Tennessee, a 72-year-old man died when his vehicle was swept downstream as he apparently tried to cross a flooded roadway, according to the Highway Patrol.
CDC says flu season not as deadly this time
LOS ANGELES – Another influenza season is in the books, and overall it caused less sickness and death than flu seasons in the recent past, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Between Sept. 29, 2013, and May 17, 2014, a total of 53,471 specimens sent to U.S. labs tested positive for a flu virus. Among them, 87 percent were influenza A viruses, and the most common of these were versions of the H1N1 virus that prompted the swine flu epidemic in 2009. The other 13 percent of the confirmed specimens were influenza B viruses.
The CDC findings, which were published Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, did not estimate a total number of flu deaths for the 2013-14 flu season. But based on records kept by doctors and hospitals, researchers concluded that flu activity in the past year resulted in “lower levels of outpatient illness and mortality” compared with years when the predominant strains were versions of the H3N2 virus.