Latest flu season mild, CDC says

Thursday, June 13th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ATLANTA (AP) _ The 2001-02 flu season was mild, the government reported Thursday.

The flu peaked this year in late February, when about one-fourth of possible flu specimens sent to a nationwide network of labs and doctors tested positive for the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The CDC uses reports from doctors and labs across the country and records from 122 U.S. cities to judge the severity of a flu season. The agency does not keep a tally of actual flu cases. But in an average year, more than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized with the flu, and about 20,000 die.

Minor manufacturing delays this year led to shortages of flu vaccine in some places. But the CDC said plenty of vaccine should be available next season. The flu season begins in September and runs through May.