Flu cases in the US are steadily decreasing, but more people are visiting healthcare providers for flu-like symptoms, likely due to changes in healthcare-seeking behavior due to COVID-19 outbreak, according to the CDC’s Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report for Week 11.
The percentage of flu tests from clinical laboratories with positive results fell to 15.3% from the previous week’s 21.1%, but visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like symptoms continues to rise during the reported week, ending in March 14, 2020, to 5.8%, higher than the previous week’s 5.2%. This is according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Weekly US Influenza Surveillance Report published for Week 11.
So far this season, the CDC data shows that there have been at least 38 million flu cases. Additionally, the report shows 390,000 flu hospitalizations and 23,000 fatalities.
A total of 149 pediatric deaths have been reported in the 2019-2020 season, including 5 in Week 11. All five of the deaths during the reported week were associated with influenza A viruses, while there’s been a total of 96 pediatric fatalities associated with influenza B this season in total. This could be due to a late surge in influenza A, the CDC data suggests.
According to the CDC report, influenza B appeared fierce in the first few months of this year’s flu season and has begun to peter out. Now, of this year’s confirmed positive specimens, 76.5% are influenza A while only 23.5% are influenza B.
Most states are still reporting high rates of influenza-like illnesses. The only states reporting low instances of flu-like illnesses are US Virgin Islands and four states Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire, and Wyoming. All other states either report a high or moderate activity.
Image: CDC FluView