Flu hospitalizations rise for 9th week straight: 8 CDC notes

Nationally, flu activity continues to rise, with the highest test positivity levels seen in central and south-central states, according to the CDC's April 8 FluView report. 

Eight CDC updates: 

1. For the week ending April 2, 2,965 lab-confirmed flu patients were hospitalized, up from 2,820 the week before. The cumulative hospitalization rate was 8.0 per 100,000, up from 7.2 the week prior. This marks the ninth consecutive week flu-related hospital admissions reported to HHS have increased. 

2. No states reported very high flu activity. New Mexico reported high activity for the second consecutive week. Three states (Utah, Oklahoma and New Hampshire) reported moderate flu activity. Nine states (Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, New York, West Virginia, Massachusetts) and the District of Columbia reported low activity. Remaining states reported minimal activity. 

3. Two pediatric flu deaths were reported for the week ending April 2, bringing the cumulative pediatric flu-related deaths this season to 16. 

4. Of all specimens tested in a clinical lab, 8.3 percent were positive for the flu for the week ending April 2, up from 6.5 percent the previous week. 

5. The percentage of visits to an outpatient provider for respiratory illness was 1.9 percent for the week ending April 2, about the same as the previous week. This is below the national baseline of 2.5 percent. 

6. Nationwide, 0.7 percent of long-term care facilities reported more than one flu-positive test among residents, the same as the week prior. 

7. The national flu, pneumonia and/or COVID-19 mortality rate is 7.5 percent, which sits above the epidemic threshold of 7.1 percent. Among the 1,297 deaths reported for the week, 524 had COVID-19 and 15 had the flu listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death. This indicates the current death rate for pneumonia, influenza and COVID-19 is primarily due to COVID-19, the CDC said.

8. The CDC estimates there have been at least 3.8 million flu illnesses, 38,000 hospitalizations and 2,300 flu-related deaths so far this season. 

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