News from the FDA/CDC

Flu activity increases after 2 weeks of declines


After dropping for two consecutive weeks, U.S. influenza activity rose during the week ending Jan. 19, 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Influenza-like illness activity level, week ending Jan. 19, 2019

The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 3.3% for the most recent measurement period, the CDC’s influenza division reported Jan 25. The previous 2-week decline had seen ILI visits dip down to 3.1% for the week ending Jan. 12 after hitting a season high of 4%.

To go along with the national increase in visits, more states reported high levels of flu activity. For the week ending Jan. 19, seven states were at level 10 on the CDC’s 1-10 scale, compared with four the previous week, and there were 18 states in the high range (levels 8-10), compared with 9 the week before, the CDC said.

Three flu-related pediatric deaths were reported in the week ending Jan. 19, although all three occurred during earlier weeks. The total number of pediatric deaths for the 2018-2019 season is now up to 22. Deaths among all ages, which are reported a week later, totaled 118 for the week ending Jan. 12, with 63% of reporting complete. There were 144 deaths during the week ending Jan. 5, with reporting 86% complete. During the second full week of 2018, in the middle of the very severe 2017-2018 season, there were 1,537 flu-related deaths, CDC data show.

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