CDC: Influenza activity hits highest level this season

CDC reported Friday that the percentage of people going to the doctor for influenza-like illness (ILI) last week rose from 3.8% to 4.3%, the highest level so far this season. CDC noted, however, that the ILI level is still far lower than the 7.5% peak recorded last year. All 10 U.S.

CDC reported Friday that the percentage of people going to the doctor for influenza-like illness (ILI) last week rose from 3.8% to 4.3%, the highest level so far this season. CDC noted, however, that the ILI level is still far lower than the 7.5% peak recorded last year. All 10 U.S. geographic regions reported ILI levels at or above region-specific baselines, CDC said, and all severity indicators increased in the past week as well. Influenza activity is expected to remain elevated for several weeks. In all, 24 states and New York City reported high ILI, up from 23 states in the previous week, and 47 states have reported widespread geographic influenza activity. The hospitalization rate last week for influenza was 20.1 per 100,000 population, compared with 15.3 in the previous week, primarily among older adults and children younger than age 5 years. CDC noted that there were 4 more pediatric deaths from influenza last week, for a total of 28 this season. The dominant strain is influenza A, accounting for 98.3% of all lab specimens tested.