This year continues to see an unusually low number of lab-confirmed influenza cases throughout the United States with fewer people visiting their healthcare providers for flu-like symptoms, data from the US CDC shows.
So far during this flu season, specimens from 182,414 suspected flu cases have been tested with just 123 testing positive for influenza, according to the CDC’s most recent FluView report for the week ending December 12.
Since the beginning of October, there have been a total of 75 lab-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations, which is lower than what is typical for this time in the season, the CDC says.
During the reported week, only 0.3% of suspected flu specimens tested were confirmed as positive for any strain of influenza. No pediatric flu-related deaths were reported during the recorded week with just one pediatric death documented this season.
The percentage of people visiting their doctors’ offices for influenza-like symptoms is also low for this time of the year. For the fourth consecutive week, only 1.6% of healthcare office visits were for influenza-like symptoms. The CDC warns that these numbers might be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and should be interpreted with caution.