Notably, in the comparable report a year ago the CDC described influenza activity as "increased", which was not a word used in the weekly FluView tracking data for the week ending January 5 this year.
In California, Fresno County has seen six flu-related deaths since October, the Fresno Bee reported on Friday, while a total of 42 lives have been lost throughout the state, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Three preschoolers have died in Saskatchewan as a result of the flu so far this season, according to the provincial health ministry.
Public health officials are paying extra attention to how influenza is affecting children this year because of the resurgence of H1N1, a strain of influenza A that hits young people particularly hard and is best-known as the culprit behind the 2009-10 flu pandemic.
As the flu season is just beginning to peak, numbers of people showing symptoms or are considered with the sickness skyrocket.
Death estimates for adults who contracted the flu are not yet available, but as of late December, the CDC said that about 6% of deaths nationwide were due to influenza or pneumonia. "But it does not look anywhere as severe as past year, " she said. The CDC counts the death of every child from influenza. "If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities", the CDC said.
As many as 83,500 people have been hospitalized because of flu, federal health officials say.
The CDC recommends flu vaccinations to decrease the risk of contracting the virus and its possibly deadly side effects. "These new in-season estimates fill out the picture of the burden of flu in the United States", the CDC said in a statement.
If you haven't gotten a flu shot, it's not too late.