Flu cases have remained low in recent weeks with influenza A surfacing as the dominant strain in the first days of this year’s flu season.
Over the last month, cumulative flu specimen data from the US Centers for Disease Control shows that influenza A has accounted for 53.2% of all reported cases, according to the most recent weekly CDC FluView report. The data showed that just over 46% of the positive specimens were influenza B. In total, since the end of September only 156 positive flu cases were documented, out of 49,937 specimens tested in public health labs.
About 8.2% of the deaths during the week ending with October 24 were due to pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19. This percentage is above the epidemic threshold of 5.9% for the reported week, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
This past week saw a slight uptick in people seeking medical care for flu-like illness (ILI), which the CDC warns could be healthcare seeking behavior that is impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Healthcare seeking behaviors have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. While outpatient ILI activity remains low, many people are accessing the healthcare system in alternative settings,” the CDC report says.
“Therefore, while traditional healthcare providers are not seeing increased numbers of cases of ILI, it is important to evaluate other sources of surveillance data to obtain a complete and accurate picture of both COVID-19 and influenza activity.”