ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The flu continues to loosen its grip on New York, with state health officials saying the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases has dropped for the third consecutive week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that the number of flu cases reported to the Department of Health fell last week to around 3,700, down from about 6,400 the previous week.

The Democrat says the number of New Yorkers requiring hospitalization for the flu dipped just under 700 last week, compared to more than 1,000 the week before.

State health officials say the total number of lab-confirmed cases of the flu since it was deemed widespread in New York state in December has topped 111,000, with more than 20,000 people requiring hospitalization.

The flu is blamed for the deaths of eight children.

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