Flu hospitalizations at lowest rate in almost a decade — 7 CDC FluView takeaways

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Overall, 136 people have been hospitalized for the flu this season, according to the CDC's FluView report.

Seven updates:

1. A total of 136 lab-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations have occured between Oct.1, 2020, and Jan. 16, 2021, according to FluSurv-NET sites. This equals a cumulative hospitalization rate of 0.5 per 100,000 people, which is lower than average and comparable to the overall rate seen at this point during the 2011-12 season.

2. The percentage of visits to an outpatient provider for flu-like illness was 1.4 percent for the week ending Jan. 16, compared to 1.7 percent the week prior. This figure remains below the national baseline of 2.6 percent.

3. No new pediatric flu deaths were reported for the week ending Jan. 16. In total, one pediatric flu death has been recorded for the 2020-21 flu season. 

4. The national flu and pneumonia mortality rate is 14.7 percent, which sits above the epidemic threshold of 7 percent. The majority of these deaths are attributed to COVID-19.

5. No states reported very high, high or moderate flu activity for the week ending Jan. 16. Tennessee reported low flu activity, while 49 states reported minimal flu activity. Washington, D.C., was excluded because of insufficient data. 

6. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for the flu at clinical laboratories was 0.1 percent for the week ending Jan. 16, down from 0.4 percent the week prior.

7. Flu activity reporting has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and should be interpreted with caution, according to the CDC.

More articles on public health:
Biden's pandemic plan: 10 things to know
Weekly hospitalizations dip after 16-week increase; vaccines appear less effective against South Africa strain — 6 COVID-19 updates
23 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Jan. 22

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