The second week of the new year brought a second straight week of declining activity for the 2018-2019 flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 3.1% for the week ending Jan. 12, 2019, down from 3.5% the previous week but still above the national baseline level of 2.2%, the CDC’s influenza division reported Jan. 18.
Activity was also down at the state level. There were 4 states – Colorado, Kentucky, New Jersey, and New Mexico – at level 10 on the CDC’s 1-10 scale for ILI activity, compared with 10 the week before, and a total of 9 were in the high range from 8 to 10, compared with 15 the previous week, data from the influenza division show.
Reports of total influenza deaths, which lag a week behind other measures, continue to rise: 111 for the week ending Jan. 5, although reporting is only 72% complete. There were 89 deaths during the previous week, with reporting 82% complete so far. Total flu-related deaths among children are up to 19 for the 2018-2019 season after three more were reported during the week ending Jan. 12, the CDC said. Influenza deaths from the comparable weeks of the much more severe 2017-2018 season were 1,163 for all ages and 10 for children.