By Paul Barr
The influenza epidemic worsened nationwide last week as measured by indicators related to mortality and hospitalizations, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials also stressed the threat that the flu poses to the elderly.
Mortality figures worsened last week, according to the CDC. Of all deaths reported through the Cities Mortality Reporting System, 8.3% were attributed to flu and pneumonia in the week ended Jan. 12, up from 7.3% the previous week and remaining above the CDC's epidemic threshold of 7.3% for last week, known as Week 2.
The cumulative rate of hospitalizations associated with the flu climbed to 18.8 per 100,000 people, a rise from 13.3 per 100,000 population the previous week.
CDC officials said during a teleconference that the outlook is serious for the elderly, who are getting hospitalized at high r