Despite some overly hyperbolic headlines this week warning of a `second wave' of Influenza B (which has now become the dominant strain reported across the U.S.), the overall level of influenza-like-illness activity across the country has dropped almost to the seasonal baseline level.
Among the flu that remains circulating, roughly 60% are influenza B. While the threat of catching the flu lessens with each passing week, it still makes sense to maintain good flu hygiene (stay home if you are sick, cover coughs, wash / sanitize hands, etc.).
Some highlights from today's FluView Summary include:
All data are preliminary and may change as more reports are received.
Synopsis:During week 12 (March 18-24, 2018), influenza activity decreased in the United States.
- Viral Surveillance: Overall, influenza A(H3) viruses have predominated this season. However, in recent weeks the proportion of influenza A viruses has declined, and during week 12, influenza B viruses were more frequently reported than influenza A viruses. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza in clinical laboratories decreased.
- Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality: The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was above the system-specific epidemic threshold in the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Mortality Surveillance System.
- Influenza-associated Pediatric Deaths: Four influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported.
- Influenza-associated Hospitalizations: A cumulative rate of 96.1 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population was reported.
- Outpatient Illness Surveillance: The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 2.5%, which is above the national baseline of 2.2%. Nine of 10 regions reported ILI at or above region-specific baseline levels. Four states experienced high ILI activity; eight states experienced moderate ILI activity; New York City, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and 14 states experienced low ILI activity; and 24 states experienced minimal ILI activity.
- Geographic Spread of Influenza: The geographic spread of influenza in Puerto Rico and 16 states was reported as widespread; 22 states reported regional activity; the District of Columbia, Guam and eight states reported local activity; four states reported sporadic activity; and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported no influenza activity.
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