Flu positivity rate, hospitalizations on the rise: 7 FluView notes

More than 2,300 patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza were admitted to a hospital for the week ending Oct. 22, according to the CDC's latest FluView report

That's up from 1,674 patients admitted the previous week, though the CDC emphasizes that data in the reports are preliminary and may change as more reports are received. 

The flu positivity rate is also steadily rising. Clinical laboratories tested 66,955 specimens for the week ending Oct. 22 and a total of 6.2 percent were positive, most of which for influenza A. The positivity rate was 4.2 percent the previous week. 

Five more notes: 

1. Washington, D.C., and South Carolina reported very high flu activity for the week ending Oct. 22. Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and New York City reported very high flu activity for the week ending Oct. 22. New Mexico reported moderate flu activity. Fourteen states — California, Hawaii, Nebraska, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — reported low activity. The remaining states reported minimal or insufficient data.

2. One flu-associated pediatric death was reported for the week ending Oct. 22. A total of 43 flu-related pediatric deaths were reported during the 2021-22 flu season, and the latest marks the first influenza-associated pediatric death of the 2022-23 flu season. 

3. The percentage of visits to an outpatient provider for influenza-like illness — meaning fever plus cough or sore throat, not lab-confirmed flu — was 3.3 percent for the week ending Oct. 22. This is above the national baseline of 2.5 percent. 

4. Nationwide, 0.5 percent of 14,264 long-term care facilities reported at least one flu-positive test among residents for the week ending Oct. 22.

5, The national flu, pneumonia and/or COVID-19 mortality rate is 9.2 percent, which sits above the epidemic threshold of 5.9 percent for the week. Among the 2,128 deaths reported for the week, 949 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.

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