Seasonal Influenza Activity Rising in the US

Published Online: Friday, February 8th, 2019
Seasonal influenza activity has increased in the United States and remains widespread in most of the country.

Throughout the country, 47 states and Puerto Rico experienced widespread seasonal influenza activity in the week ended February 2, 2019, according to the CDC's Feb. 8 FluView update.

The H1N1 viruses have been the most commonly identified influenza viruses nationwide. However, in the southeast region of the United States, H3N2 viruses were the predominant influenza viruses.

Four pediatric deaths were reported for the week ended Feb. 2, 2019, CDC officials said in the update.

Two of those deaths were associated with an H1N1 virus, and 2 were associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed.

Those 4 deaths are among 28 reported cases of children who have died from illness associated with the influenza virus this season.

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, 20.1 hospitalizations per 100,000 people were associated with influenza. The highest hospitalization rate is among adults 65 and older (53 hospitalizations per 100,000 people).

The percentage of people in the United States seeking outpatient treatment for influenza-like illness (ILI) also increased, to 4.3%, during the week ended February 2, which is above the national baseline of 2.2%.

High ILI was reported in 24 states and New York City, up from 9 states reported by the CDC on January 12, 2019. Ten additional states, as well as Puerto Rico, reported experiencing 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.

This article was originally published on PharmacyTimes.com 

Reference
CDC. Influenza (flu): influenza season week 5 ending February 2, 2019. CDC's FluView. cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm#S3. Updated February 8, 2019. Accessed February 8, 2019.  





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