From the latest CDC FluView report:
2012-2013 Influenza Season Week 10 ending March 9, 2013
All data are preliminary and may change as more reports are received.
During week 10 (March 3 – 9, 2013), influenza activity remained elevated in the United States, but decreased in most areas.
- Viral Surveillance: Of 5,747 specimens tested and reported by collaborating laboratories, 821 (14.3%) were positive for influenza.
- Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality: The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was above the epidemic threshold.
- Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths: Twelve pediatric deaths were reported.
- Influenza-Associated Hospitalizations: A cumulative rate for the season of 39.6 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population was reported. Of reported hospitalizations, 51% were among adults 65 years and older.
- Outpatient Illness Surveillance: The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 2.6%. This is above the national baseline of 2.2%. Six of 10 regions reported ILI at or above region-specific baseline levels. Five states and New York City experienced moderate activity; 12 states experienced low activity; and 33 states and the District of Columbia experienced minimal activity.
- Geographic Spread of Influenza: Eight states reported widespread influenza activity; Puerto Rico and 19 states reported regional influenza activity; the District of Columbia and 17 states reported local influenza activity; 6 states reported sporadic influenza activity; Guam reported no influenza activity, and the U.S. Virgin Islands did not report.
From Canada, the latest FluWatch Report:
- Overall detections of influenza continued to decline, however the proportion of influenza B detections increased.
- In week 10, 75% of paediatric hospitalizations were associated with influenza B.
- Nationally, the number of regions reporting widespread or localized activity decreased.
- The ILI consultation rate increased but was within the expected range for this time of year.
And last stop, the ECDC’s WISO Surveillance Report:
15 Mar 2013
During week 10, 18 of the 27 countries reporting indicated wide geographic spread on influenza, 16 of which also reported high/medium-intensity transmission, states the Weekly influenza surveillance overview. Only one country reported an increasing trend, and 19 countries reported a decreasing trend in influenza activity.
Virological surveillance shows that the overall proportion of influenza-positive cases among sentinel specimens continues to remain high (54%), but it has decreased from the peak observed in early February.
Since week 40/2012, 48% of sentinel specimens positive for influenza virus have been of type A and 52% of type B. The proportion of A(H1)pdm09 has remained at about 60% of subtyped type A viruses.
ECDC published its annual risk assessment for seasonal influenza 2012-13 in early February based on data up to week 3/2013.
Meanwhile, even though the flu season in the temperate regions of the Southern Hemisphere doesn’t typically begin until May or June, Australia and New Zealand have already begun to gird themselves.
A couple of examples of newspaper headlines over this past weekend include: