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Week 9: CDC reports flu activity remains elevated

According to this week’s FluView report, overall influenza activity remains elevated and is similar to activity reported last week. 48 states and Puerto Rico continue to report widespread flu activity and 32 states are experiencing high influenza-like-illness (ILI) activity levels. While cumulatively influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses remain predominant for this flu season, during the weekend ending March 2, influenza A(H3) were reported more frequently nationally for the second week. Severity indicators continue to increase as expected but remain substantially lower than what was observed last season. This week another eight flu-related pediatric deaths occurring during the 2018-2019 season were reported to CDC, bringing the total to 64 flu-related deaths for the season.

There is about a 90% chance that the flu season has peaked nationally, though there may be some variation in the timing of influenza in different parts of the country. Flu activity is likely to start decreasing but remain elevated over the next month

Below is a summary of the key flu indicators for the week ending March 2, 2019:

  • Influenza-like Illness Surveillance: For the week ending March 2 (week 9), the proportion of people seeing their health care provider for influenza-like illness (ILI) slightly decreased to 4.7 percent, but remains above the national baseline of 2.2 percent.
    • All 10 regions reported a proportion of outpatient visits for ILI at or above their region-specific baseline levels.
    • For comparison purposes, over the past five flu seasons, the peak percent of visits due to ILI has ranged between 3.6 percent (2015-2016) and 7.5 percent (2017-2018).
    • Additional ILINet data, including national, regional, and select state-level data for the current and previous seasons, can be found at http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/fluportaldashboard.html.
  • Influenza-like Illness (ILI) State Activity Indicator Map: The number of states experiencing high ILI activity slightly decreased from 33 states plus New York City last week to 32 statesthis week. Additional data, including data for previous seasons, can be found at https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/main.html. https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/main.html.
  • Geographic Spread of Influenza Viruses:The number of jurisdictions reporting widespread influenza activity slightly decreased from Puerto Rico and 49 states to Puerto Rico and 48 states. Geographic spread data reflect how many areas within a state or territory are seeing flu activity. Additional data are available at: https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/FluView8.html.
  • Flu-Associated Hospitalizations: Since October 1, 2018, 10,567 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported through the Influenza Hospitalization Network (FluSurv-NET), a population-based surveillance network for laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations covering approximately 9% of the U.S. This translates to a cumulative overall rate of 36.6 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the United States.

Click here to read a full summary. The reports change every Friday.