Flu has killed 24,000 this season, CDC says

The CDC estimates flu has caused 39 million illnesses, 400,000 hospitalizations and 24,000 deaths this season, according to the agency's most recent FluView report.

Six things to know:

1. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for flu decreased for the week ending March 21, while flu-like activity increased for the third week in a row. The CDC noted more Americans than normal are seeking care for respiratory illness due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. The national flu and pneumonia mortality rate rose to 7.4 percent, which sits above the epidemic threshold of 7.3 percent.

3. The CDC confirmed six additional pediatric flu deaths in the week ending March 21. This brings the total to 155 for the 2019-20 flu season.

4. Thirty-four states experienced high flu-like illness activity, 10 states experienced moderate activity and two states had low activity. Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire and Rhode Island reported minimal activity.

5. The overall flu hospitalization rate increased to 67.3 per 100,000 population for the week ending March 21. 

6. Flu activity was widespread in 38 states. Ten states reported regional spread, and two states — Alaska and Hawaii — reported local spread.

More articles on public health:
New York to allow ventilator-sharing, despite misgivings from experts
COVID-19 vs. SARS: How the outbreaks compare
10 countries with most COVID-19 cases, deaths

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