2 US regions reporting most flu activity — 7 notes

Flu activity is increasing, with the Eastern and Central parts of the U.S. seeing the majority of known cases and the Western part of the nation reporting lower levels of circulation, according to the CDC's most recent FluView report.

Georgia, New Jersey and North Dakota reported very high flu activity for the week of Dec. 25, the highest level as categorized by the CDC.

New Mexico reported high activity for the eighth consecutive week. Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia also reported high flu activity. 

Twelve states reported moderate flu activity for the week, while 13 states reported low activity. The remaining states reported minimal flu activity. Washington, D.C., reported insufficient data. 

Six other CDC updates:

1. The percentage of visits to an outpatient provider for respiratory illness was 3.8 percent for the week ending Dec. 25, up from 3.1 percent the previous week and above the national baseline of 2.5 percent. 

2. For the week ending Dec. 25, 1,825 lab-confirmed flu patients were hospitalized, up from the week prior. The cumulative hospitalization rate was 1.8 per 100,000 population, up from 1.4 per 100,000 the prior week.

3. Of all specimens tested in a clinical lab, 6.2 percent were positive for flu virus for the week ending Dec. 25, up from 5.6 percent the previous week.

4. Nationwide, 0.9 percent of long-term care facilities reported more than one flu-positive test among residents for the week, up from 0.6 percent the previous week.

5. The national flu, pneumonia and/or COVID-19 mortality rate is 19.2 percent, which sits above the epidemic threshold of 6.8 percent. Among the 3,381 deaths reported for the week, 2,582 had COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death on the death certificate.

6. No flu-associated pediatric deaths were reported to the CDC for the week ending Dec. 25. Two deaths have been recorded this flu season so far.

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