From NBC's Robert Bazell
The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control just came out.
For the week ending Nov. 21, the number of people going to doctors and hospitals for flu symptoms continued its sharp decline, further validating the notion that the current wave of the epidemic in this country peaked around Oct. 20.
Still, as we reported Wednesday, 35 children died that week of flu -- tying the all time record. In the previous four years, between 43 and 90 children died during the entire year. So 35 is very high.
Thirty-two states reported widespread activity, down from 43 the previous week. The 32 were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Another worrisome trend: The percentage of all deaths from pneumonia and influenza remains very high, especially for this time of year.
Note: All cases are not tested, but extensive random testing suggests that 99% of all flu circulating now in the United States is swine flu (a.k.a. H1N1). So we are talking about swine flu here. Officials believe other seasonal strains could appear anytime, but they have not yet seen evidence of that.