Latest CDC Report Shows Widespread Influenza Continues

The agency urges the public to receive a vaccine if they have not already done so.

Seasonal influenza activity remains elevated in the United States, and the H1N1, H3N2, and influenza B viruses continue to co-circulate.

Throughout the country, 49 states and Puerto Rico experienced widespread seasonal influenza activity in the week ending February 23, 2019, according to the CDC’s March 1 FluView update.

During week 8, the most recent week of the report, A(H3) viruses were reported more frequently than H1N1 viruses, yet during the previous 3 weeks, H3 viruses were reported more frequently than H1N1 viruses in the northeastern, southeastern, and central portions of the country.

Fifteen pediatric deaths were reported for the week ending February 23, CDC officials said in the update. Eight of those deaths were associated with H1N1 virus and occurred during during a 4-week span ending Feb. 23.

The proportion of overall deaths attributed to influenza and pneumonia was below the system-specific epidemic threshold in the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System, according to the CDC.

Overall, there were 32.1 hospitalizations associated with influenza per 100,000 people. The highest hospitalization rate is among adults age 65 years and older (91.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 population).

The percentage of people in the United States seeking outpatient treatment for influenza-like illness (ILI) remained at 5.0% which is above the national baseline of 2.2%.

High ILI activity was reported in 33 states and New York City, up from 24 states reported by the CDC on February 8, 2019. The District of Columbia and 8 states experienced moderate ILI activity.

An annual flu vaccine is recommended for anyone 6 months and older who has not yet received a flu vaccination this season, according to the CDC.

In addition to preventing potentially serious complications from influenza, including death, flu immunization has been shown to reduce the severity of illness among people who get vaccinated but still get sick.

Reference

2018-2019 Influenza Season Week 8 ending February 23, 2019. CDC website. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/#S3. Updated March 1, 2019. Accessed March 1, 2019