Influenza Update Week Ending 2-03-2018Jenny Abercrombie
Week ending 2-3-18 The CDC reported that influenza activity (diagnosed flu and Influenza-Like-Illness) increased once again. Levels have met or exceeded flu and ILI markers from flu seasons over the last decade, including the 2009 Pandemic of H1N1. Although Week #5 is the 11th week of substantial flu activity, and flu activity would normally have peaked by now, that is not the case and the CDC suggests that flu activity may go on for as long as 20 weeks. The only potential good news is that the number of flu cases that were tested showed an increase in Influenza B results, and since flu vaccine is more effective on B flus than the H3 flus, hopefully less people will get sick and, therefore, less will spread it.
Although the greatest risk for complications & hospitalizations remained in those 65 years or older, other age groups, including those with and without high risk of complications from flu, are having to be hospitalized. This year’s rate of hospitalizations due to flu is higher than it was at the same point in the 2014-15 season which was labeled a high severity flu season and which was also dominated by an H3N2 flu strain.
See this link for more details, including charts, graphs and maps. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/