Flu Activity Falling Across the U.S.

Influenza activity decreased, but remains elevated according to recent data from the CDC.


Flu activity remained elevated for the entire U.S. for the week ending March 18, 2017, according the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza in clinical laboratories also is falling, suggesting that flu season is coming to a close. The most frequently identified influenza continues to be virus subtype was influenza A (H3).

According to the CDC, 31,673 influenza positive specimens have been collected and reported by public health laboratories in the U.S. during the 2016-2017 season. The CDC genetically characterized 1,510 influenza viruses and the HA gene segment of all influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 viruses analyzed belonged to genetic group 6B.1. Influenza A (H3N2) virus HA gene segments analyzed belonged to genetic groups 3C.2a or 3C.3a. Genetic group 3C.2a includes a newly emerging subgroup known as 3C.2a1. The HA of influenza B/Victoria-lineage viruses all belonged to genetic group V1A. The HA of influenza B/Yamagata-lineage viruses analyzed all belonged to genetic group Y3.

Outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) dropped to 3.2%, still well above the national baseline (2.2%). Seven of 10 regions continued to experience high ILI activity. Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia all experienced high ILI activity. New York City, Puerto Rico, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming all experienced minimal ILI activity.

Two more influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during the first week of March 2017. A total of 55 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2016-2017 season..

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