Flu virus 'widespread' in 43 states; Mali taken off enhanced Ebola screening list;

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> The influenza virus has been characterized as "widespread" in 43 states as of Dec. 27, an increase from 36 states the week before, but the number of deaths attributed to the flu and pneumonia has dipped below epidemic level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data summary

> Passengers traveling from Mali will no longer be subjected to enhanced screening by the U.S. government that had been put in place due to the Ebola outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statement

Health Finance News

> Prime Healthcare Services, the Southern California-based, for-profit chain that has generated much controversy in recent years for its business practices, is making a bid to acquire six hospitals operated by the Catholic Daughters of Charity healthcare system. Article

> The year 2015 may be the time where healthcare spending in the United States reaches a specific milestone: $10,000 per person. Article

> The rising out-of-pocket costs for health insurance force millions of middle-class Americans to forego checkups and other needed medical care, according to USA Today. Article

And Finally… That's a party foul. Article