Flu activity down, hospitalization rate up: 7 things to know

Though only low or minimal flu activity was reported across the U.S. for the week ending Feb. 12, flu hospital admissions increased slightly, according to the CDC's FluView report published Feb. 18.

Seven other CDC updates:

1. No states reported very high, high or moderate flu activity. Eight states — Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming — reported low activity. Forty-two states reported minimal flu activity, while Washington, D.C., reported insufficient data. 

2. The percentage of visits to an outpatient provider for respiratory illness was 1.4 percent for the week ending Feb. 12, down from 1.7 percent the previous week and below the national baseline of 2.5 percent. 

3. For the week ending Feb. 12, 1,073 lab-confirmed flu patients were hospitalized, up from the week prior. The cumulative hospitalization rate was 4.7 per 100,000 population, up from 4.5 per 100,000 the prior week. This is higher than the rate for the entire 2020-21 flu season, but lower than the rate seen at this time during the four seasons preceding the pandemic.

4. Of all specimens tested in a clinical lab, 3 percent were positive for flu virus for the week ending Feb. 12, up from 2 percent the previous week.  

5. Nationwide, 0.4 percent of long-term care facilities reported more than one flu-positive test among residents for the week, the same as the previous week.

6. The national flu, pneumonia and/or COVID-19 mortality rate is 22.6 percent, which sits above the epidemic threshold of 7.2 percent. Among the 4,116 deaths reported for the week, 3,447 had COVID-19 and 17 had flu listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death.

7. No flu-associated pediatric deaths occurred during the week ending Feb. 12. A total of five pediatric flu deaths occurring during the 2021-22 season have been reported to the CDC.


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