Via: CNN.Com

The spread of the flu across the United States appears to have slowed in portions of five states in the South and Southeast, a federal official told CNN early Friday, even as a National Institutes of Health director warned of the onset of “a classic flu epidemic.”

The news came hours before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was due to release its flu advisory report for December 30 to January 5, which according to the official with knowledge of the findings will also show the number of flu-related deaths for children climbed by two last week.

That brings to 20 the number of deaths under the age of 18 since the outbreak of the flu. While the CDC does not count the number of adult deaths related to the flu, some states do and that data suggests dozens have died.

The number of cases, meanwhile, that dropped off in portions of the South and Southeast appear to have done so because that was where the flu season started earliest, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official did not identify the five states.

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