Flu levels fall further across the country: CDC

Seasonal flu activity continues to decline across most of the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Most states have experienced “minimal” or “low” flu activity over the past week, according to the latest data from the CDC released Friday. Only New Mexico and Oklahoma had “high” or “very high” flu levels.

The CDC said flu hospitalizations and weekly hospitalization rates were down compared to the previous week. Hospitals reported 2,671 flu hospitalizations to HHS in the week ended Jan. 28, compared with 4,028 reported the previous week.

According to the CDC, only 2% of cases tested in clinical laboratories tested positive, and 2.6% of each health care provider who visited in the last week developed respiratory viral symptoms, including fever and Cough or sore throat.

This was stable compared to last week’s reported figures and slightly above the national baseline of 2.5%.

The weeks after the holidays are full of activity as the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hits earlier than in past years. But the continued downward trend suggests that the season appears to have peaked for now and that the “triple sickness” of COVID-19, flu and RSV isn’t as bad as many feared.

Respiratory disease visits fell this week for those 50-64 and 65 and older. Numbers for all other age groups tracked by the CDC remained steady.

Vaccination rates among adults were just under 46% at the end of January, but were still above that point in the previous quarter. Children 6 months to 4 years old were most vaccinated at about 61%, but all age groups had the same or higher rates of vaccination compared to last year.

Six influenza-related pediatric deaths were reported this week, bringing the total number of pediatric influenza deaths reported so far this season to 97. So far this quarter, at least 25 million people have been sickened, 280,000 have been hospitalized and 17,000 have died from the flu.

In comparison, more than 3,000 people are still dying from COVID-19 every week on average.

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