According to this week’s CDC FluView report for Week 43 ending Oct. 26, 2019, seasonal influenza activity in the United States increased slightly, but remains low.
2.4% of respiratory specimens tested in clinical laboratories were positive for influenza viruses. This is slightly higher than the previous week.
Influenza A(H3N2) and influenza B/Victoria viruses have been most common so far, with influenza A(H3N2) viruses slightly outnumbering influenza B/Victoria viruses.
1.9% of visits to a healthcare provider were for influenza-like illness (ILI). ILI activity is higher than the previous week but remains below the national baseline of 2.4%.
The majority of jurisdictions experienced minimal ILI activity; however, Louisiana and Puerto Rico experienced high ILI activity and 7 states experienced low ILI activity.
The majority of jurisdictions reported sporadic or local activity; however, Louisiana reported regional activity and Rhode Island reported no activity.
5.1% of deaths were attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I). This is below the epidemic threshold of 5.8%.
No new influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurring during the 2019-2020 season were reported to CDC this week. The total for the season is 2.
An overview of the CDC influenza surveillance system, including methodology and detailed descriptions of each data component, is available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/overview.htm.
Nationally, flu activity is low and similar to what has been observed during recent previous seasons at the same time, but Louisiana and Puerto Rico both continue to experience high levels of influenza-like-illness. The CDC says it is too early to characterize the timing of the season, what viruses will predominate, or how severe the season will be.
Flu vaccination is always the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications. Most flu vaccines protect against four different flu viruses, so get vaccinated now.