14 states report 'very high' flu activity: 9 FluView notes

The nation's flu positivity rate and hospitalizations continue to climb, with Southeastern and South-Central states reporting the highest levels of activity, according to the CDC's latest FluView report

Fourteen states reported very high flu activity for the week ending Nov. 5: Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Maryland, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, New Jersey. New York City and Washington, D.C., also reported very high flu activity. 

Eight more notes: 

1. Eight states (California, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Connecticut, Nebraska, New York and Illinois) and Puerto Rico reported high flu activity for the week ending Nov. 5. Six states reported moderate activity: Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. The remaining states reported low or minimal activity. 

2. Three flu-associated deaths were reported to the CDC for the week ending Nov. 5. One of the deaths occurred the week ending Oct. 15 and another occurred the week ending Oct. 29. This brings the total number of influenza-associated pediatric deaths to five for the 2022-23 season. 

3. More than 6,400 lab-confirmed flu patients were admitted to a hospital in the week ending Nov. 5. That's up from 4,326 patients admitted the previous week. The overall cumulative hospitalization rate is 5.0 per 100,000 — the highest it's been this early in the season since the 2010-11 flu season. 

4. Clinical laboratories tested 103,311 specimens for influenza for the week ending Nov. 5. Of those, 12.8 percent were positive, most of which for influenza A. The positivity rate was 9 percent the previous week. 

5. The percentage of visits to an outpatient provider for influenza-like illness — meaning fever plus cough or sore throat, not lab-confirmed flu — was 5.5 percent for the week ending Nov. 5. This is above the national baseline of 2.5 percent. 

6. Nationwide, 1 percent of 14,225 long-term care facilities reported at least one flu-positive test among residents for the week ending Nov. 5.

7. The national flu, pneumonia and/or COVID-19 mortality rate is 9 percent, which sits above the epidemic threshold of 6.1 percent for the week. Among the 2,135 deaths reported for the week, 949 had COVID-19 and 54 had the flu listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death. This indicates the current death rate for pneumonia, influenza and COVID-19 is primarily due to COVID-19, the CDC said.

8. So far this season, the CDC estimates there have been at least 2.8 million flu cases, 23,000 hospitalizations and 1,300 deaths. 

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