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Nasty flu season showing signs of winding down in U.S.

Lab technologist Sharda Modi tests a patient's swab for a flu infection at Upson Regional Medical Center on Feb. 9, 2018 in Thomaston, Ga. U.S. health officials on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, said fewer visits to the doctor last week – 1 out of 16 – were for fever, cough and other flu symptoms than during the previous two weeks. The number of states reporting high patient traffic for the flu also dropped, to 39 from 43. (David Goldman / Associated Press)
Lab technologist Sharda Modi tests a patient's swab for a flu infection at Upson Regional Medical Center on Feb. 9, 2018 in Thomaston, Ga. U.S. health officials on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, said fewer visits to the doctor last week – 1 out of 16 – were for fever, cough and other flu symptoms than during the previous two weeks. The number of states reporting high patient traffic for the flu also dropped, to 39 from 43. (David Goldman / Associated Press)
By Mike Stobbe Associated Press

NEW YORK – Could this nasty flu season finally be winding down?

U.S. health officials on Friday said fewer visits to the doctor last week – 1 out of 16 – were for fever, cough and other flu symptoms than during the previous two weeks. The number of states reporting high patient traffic for the flu also dropped, to 39 from 43.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they’re cautious about saying the flu season has peaked but called the downturn encouraging. Flu usually peaks in February.

This season started early and surged for months. It has been driven by a formidable type of flu that tends to cause more hospitalizations and deaths. This year’s flu vaccine is estimated to be only 25 percent effective against that type.

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