The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting a significant increase in U.S. influenza activity. According to CDC's influenza map, influenza is now widespread in 43 states and Puerto Rico, and high influenza activity was reported for 23 states and New York City, reports the American Pharmacists Association.
CDC said the marker that tracks clinic visits for influenza-like illness has now been above the national baseline for eight consecutive weeks. Influenza-like illness nationwide reached 4.8 percent last week, up from 3.9 percent the week before. Influenza A accounts for 87.7 percent of the detections at clinical laboratories, while influenza B detections at clinical labs increased to 12.3 percent. H3N2 accounted for 97.6 percent of the subtyped influenza A strains. CDC recorded five more pediatric influenza deaths, bringing the season's total to 20.
Meanwhile, hospitalizations for influenza increased to 24.3 per 100,000 people; however, the rate among older adults is much higher, at 113.5 per 100,000.