Flu has sickened 36 million, CDC says

The CDC estimates flu has caused 36 million illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths this season, according to the agency's most recent FluView report.

Six things to know:

1. The percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu and the percentage of outpatient visits for flu-like illness have steadily decreased for the past month.

2. The agency confirmed eight additional pediatric flu deaths in the week ending March 7, bringing the total to 144 for the 2019-20 flu season.

3. Forty-one states experienced high flu-like illness activity, two states experienced moderate activity and four states had low activity. Arizona, Florida and Wyoming reported minimal activity.

4. The overall flu hospitalization rate increased to 61.6 per 100,000 population for the week ending March 7. The CDC has received 17,889 reports of lab-confirmed flu hospitalizations since Oct. 1, 2019.

5. Flu activity remained widespread in every state but Hawaii and Oregon for the week ending March 7.

6. The national flu and pneumonia mortality rate was 7.1 percent, which sits below the epidemic threshold of 7.3 percent. 

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