Measures of influenza activity fell again as the flu season continues to make its later-than-usual departure this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On the geographic front, the map of influenza-like illness (ILI) activity for the week ending March 30 shows that only 6 states are at level 10 on the CDC’s 1-10 scale, compared with 11 for the previous week, and that those same 6 states make up the entire membership of the high range of levels 8-10, which is down from 20 states a week ago, data from the CDC’s Outpatient ILI Surveillance Network show.
The proportion of outpatient visits for ILI, now at 3.2%, dropped for the sixth consecutive week after reaching its season high of 5.1% back in mid-February. The outpatient rate has now been at or above the national baseline of 2.2% for 19 weeks this season, the CDC’s influenza division said April 5, noting that the average for the past five seasons is 16 weeks.
Six flu-related pediatric deaths were reported in the week ending March 30, and the total is now 82 for the 2018-2019 season. Five of the six occurred during previous weeks of this season, and one occurred in the 2017-2018 season, the CDC said.