U.S. flu activity increases slightly



Activity of influenza-like illness (ILI) “increased slightly in the United States” during week 5 of the 2015-2016 influenza season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Nov. 20.

Thirteen states were above level-1 activity as of Nov. 14, 2015, compared with seven the week before. South Carolina jumped all the way up to “moderate” activity (level 6) and Missouri and Oklahoma moved into the low-activity category (level 4). Oregon remained at a still-minimal level 3, while Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Texas, Utah, and Virginia are at level 2, according to the CDC.

The first influenza-associated pediatric death was reported this week, although it actually occurred during week 4 (the week ending Nov. 7), the CDC said. There has been an average of 143 flu-associated pediatric deaths over the last three flu seasons.

ILI is defined as fever (temperature of 100° F or greater) and cough and/or sore throat. Activity level within a state is the proportion of outpatient visits to health care providers for influenza-like illness.

That proportion for the United States overall was 1.6%, which is up from last week’s 1.4% but still below the national baseline of 2.1%, the CDC said.

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