Flu hospitalizations rise 4th week in a row — 9 CDC notes

The U.S. continues to report sporadic flu activity, with levels rising in some areas, according to the CDC's FluView report published March 4.

Nine CDC updates:

1. For the week ending Feb. 26, 1,504 lab-confirmed flu patients were hospitalized, up from the week before. The cumulative hospitalization rate was 5.2 per 100,000 population, up from 4.9 per 100,000 the prior week. The number of flu-related hospital admissions reported to HHS has increased for the past four weeks.

2. Two new flu-associated pediatric deaths were reported, bringing the pediatric flu deaths total for the 2021-22 season to eight.

3. No states reported very high, high or moderate flu activity. Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Utah reported low activity. The remaining states reported minimal flu activity, while Washington, D.C., reported insufficient data. 

4. The percentage of visits to an outpatient provider for respiratory illness was 1.5 percent for the week ending Feb. 26, the same as the previous week, and below the national baseline of 2.5 percent. 

5. Of all specimens tested in a clinical lab, 4.1 percent were positive for the flu for the week ending Feb. 26, down slightly from 4.2 percent the previous week.  

6. Nationwide, 0.5 percent of long-term care facilities reported more than one flu-positive test among residents for the week, up slightly from the previous week.

7. The national flu, pneumonia and/or COVID-19 mortality rate is 16.7 percent, which sits above the epidemic threshold of 7.2 percent. Among the 3,075 deaths reported for the week, 2,274 had COVID-19 and 12 had flu listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death.

8. Flu vaccination coverage for this season remains lower than 2020-21.

9. The CDC estimates there have been at least 2.5 million flu cases, 24,000 hospitalizations and 1,400 flu deaths so far this season.

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