News from the FDA/CDC

CDC: Flu activity ‘high’ in nine states


Flu activity increased during the week ending Dec. 22, which put the proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) more than a full percentage point over the national baseline, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Influenza-like illness activity level, week ending Dec. 22, 2018

Patients with ILI made up an estimated 3.3% of outpatient visits for the week, which is up from 2.7% the previous week and well above the baseline rate of 2.2%, which the 2018-2019 flu season has now exceeded for the past 3 weeks, the CDC reported Dec. 28. ILI is defined “as fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) and cough and/or sore throat.”

Three states – Colorado, Georgia, and New Mexico – are now at the highest level of flu activity on the CDC’s 1-10 scale, and nine states are in the “high” range (8-10), compared with two states in high range (both at level 10) for the week ending Dec. 15. Another seven states and Puerto Rico are now in the “moderate” range of 6-7, data from the CDC’s Outpatient ILI Surveillance Network show.

Four flu-related deaths in children were reported during the week ending Dec. 22, two of which occurred in previous weeks, which brings the total to 11 for the 2018-2019 season, the CDC reported.

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