February 25, 2018

CDC: US flu levels now rival 2009 swine flu

09 February 2018, 10:07 | Winifred Adams

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County reports 5 flu-related ICU hospitalizations

"We may be on track to break several records", Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a telephone news briefing.

Schuchat said the country is now in the eleventh week of the 2017-2018 flu season.

During a press briefing today, CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, MD, RADM, USPHS, said 48 states are now experiencing widespread influenza activity with OR and Hawaii indicating regional flu activity.

The agency reported that hospitalizations for this flu season have reached the highest levels since they began tracking these incidences in 2010, according to the release.

She said the flu remains widespread in almost all states, except for OR and Hawaii. Hawaii and OR are the only states reported as having lower levels of the virus.

"Flu is incredibly hard to predict, and we don't know if we have hit the peak yet", she said, noting that 59.9 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the population have been for the flu so far this year.

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Secretary Azar discussed his experience overseeing HHS ongoing flu activities and his time working with other public health leaders during his previous time at HHS.

"There might be a second wave of influenza B infections", she said. The strain is attributed to 86.4% of influenza hospitalizations from October 1, 2017 to February 3.

"That's a signal of how very intense this flu season has been", she noted. "Hoosiers should do everything they can to protect themselves and their families, including getting a flu vaccine and staying home if they're sick". "What could be mild symptoms for you, could be deadly to someone else", she said, during the briefing. The CDC does not require national reporting of flu deaths in adults.

The latest FluView data found that flu-related deaths rose to 10.1% - far above the epidemic threshold figure of 7.3%.

"It's a little too early to say we're out of the woods or to say that flu is abating", Nordlund said.

Influenza activity is breaking recent records this season, and is not yet slowing down, according to the CDC.

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