After a news-grabbing early outbreak, influenza is still spreading steadily in the US, with case counts maintaining their weekly pattern of doubling.
According to ABC News, 23,000 individuals have been admitted to hospitals this flu season, and 1,300 have passed away.
With three paediatric deaths recorded by the CDC in the most recent data update for the week, the number of paediatric deaths this flu season has increased to five.
According to the CDC’s weekly report, 6,465 people with lab-confirmed flu infections were admitted to hospitals in the previous week.
Not every flu patient is admitted to a hospital. The CDC tracks nationwide outpatient clinic visits for “respiratory sickness,” which is defined as having a fever with a cough or sore throat. This is one way it gauges the impact of the flu. This past week, there has been a sharp increase in outpatient appointments for “respiratory sickness,” which can encompass both the flu and other viruses like the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
The CDC currently recognises 16 states or significant metropolitan regions as having outpatient respiratory illness visit numbers that meet the “extremely high” standard. They are: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and New York City. They are also: Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Kentucky.
Only four of those were rated as having a very high risk the week before: Alabama, District of Columbia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Anyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot, according to the CDC.