The number of laboratory-confirmed flu cases throughout the United States has declined sharply and is now low, according to a recent report from the US CDC.
As national health experts announced that the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak could hit the US within the next two weeks, there has been a major decline in reported cases of flu. As of the most up-to-date reporting, the country has seen 246,842 laboratory-confirmed flu cases with the majority of cases testing positive for Influenza A (H1N1), according to the CDC’s Weekly FluView Report for Week 13.
So far, CDC estimates that this season there have been at least 39 million flu illnesses, 400,000 hospitalizations and 24,000 deaths from flu. The percentage of respiratory samples testing positive for flu dropped during the week ending in March 28, to 2.1% down from 7.3% during the previous week.
Visits to healthcare providers for flu-like illnesses also saw a 0.9% decline in the reported week, but remains above the baseline for this part of the flu season, the CDC says.
Overall, influenza severity indicators hover between moderate and low. However, hospitalization rates vary by age group, with high rates seen mostly in the pediatric population and those over the age of 65. According to the CDC report, as many as 162 children have died from influenza-associated complications this season.
The report shows that 28 states are still reporting high incidence of flu-like illnesses, including New York, Massachusetts, Texas and North Carolina.
Warmer weather states, including Florida, Arizona, and Nevada are among the states with the least amount of flu-like illnesses activity.