Jan. 26 (UPI) — The past week saw an increase in influenza activity across the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report said Friday.
All 10 of the CDC’s regions reported elevated levels of flu activity, affecting all states, as well as Puerto Rico and Guam, except for Hawaii. The CDC report, covering the week of Jan. 14 to Jan. 20, noted seven new influenza-associated pediatric deaths. A total of 37 deaths classified in that manner have been reported during the 2017-2018 flu season.
Laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu rose by nearly 12,000 during the week. The total thus far is over 86,000. Because not every person with the flu visits a doctor and not all who do get tested for the flu, the number of people infected could be higher than figures the CDC provided.
The outpatient illness rate for influenza-like illnesses was 6.6 percent, where 2.2 percent is the typical baseline. New York City, Puerto Rico and 39 states rated a high level of influenza-like illness.
The CDC regards the week ending Jan. 20 as the third week of flu season, indicating more cases are expected.
The overall hospitalization rate for flu symptoms thus far is 41.9 per 100,000 people, with nearly 12,000 hospitalizations reported since Oct. 1, 2017. The highest rate of hospitalization occurred in the over 65 population, at 183.1 per 100,000, followed by those age 50 to 64, with 44.2 per 100,000.