Flu hints at another uptick: 3 virus updates

While COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus metrics continue to decrease, flu activity remains high and is rising again in some parts of the country, especially in the Midwest and South-Central regions.

Flu metrics including hospitalizations had been falling for several weeks. However, in the latest CDC update — which accounts for data through Jan. 27 — flu admissions remained stable with 12,186 new hospitalizations reported. Meanwhile, 16.2% of samples tested for influenza at clinical labs across the U.S. were positive, up from 14.2% a week earlier. 

Flu-related emergency department visits also rose slightly for the week ending Jan. 27 after several weeks of decreases. Eight flu-related pediatric deaths were reported this week as well, bringing the season's total to 65. 

Overall, the CDC estimates there have been at least 20 million flu cases, 230,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths. 

Two more respiratory virus trends to know: 

COVID admissions fell nearly 11% for the week ending Jan. 27, marking the third straight week of decreases. Percent positivity and emergency department visits also fell, though deaths held steady. Overall, ED visits remain highest among infants and adults 65 and older. 

RSV activity is decreasing in many areas of the country, the CDC said. Hospitalization rates are falling in young children though remain high in older adults. There were 8,466 RSV-related ED visits for the week ending Jan. 27, down from 19,575 the previous week. Weekly RSV emergency visits hit a peak this season in late December at nearly 27,000. 

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