News from the FDA/CDC

Flu activity levels down, but outpatient visits highest since 1998-99


Influenza activity measures declined for a third consecutive week, but levels are higher than usual at this point in the flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Influenza-like illness activity level, week ending March 9, 2019

For the week ending March 9, an estimated 4.5% of outpatient visits were for influenza-like illness (ILI), which was down from 4.6% the previous week, the CDC’s influenza division reported March 15, but that is higher than the comparable week for any year since 1998-1999. During last year’s very severe flu season, the outpatient visit rate was just under 3.2% for the week ending March 10.

Although the number of states at level 10 on the CDC’s 1-10 scale remained at 21, the activity map actually looks more red than last week since Rhode Island and West Virgina were replaced by the much larger states of Iowa and Washington. The number of states in the high range (8-10), did go down from 32 to 30, data from the CDC’s Outpatient ILI Surveillance Network show.

ILI-related deaths among children were down considerably, with four reported during the week ending March 9, compared with nine the week before. Of those four deaths, only one occurred during the most recent reporting week, the CDC said.

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