Flu test positivity jumps & 5 other CDC FluView takeaways

The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for the flu at clinical laboratories was 0.4 percent for the week ending Jan. 9, up from 0.1 percent the week prior, according to the CDC's FluView report.

Five updates:

1. The percentage of visits to an outpatient provider for flu-like illness was 1.7 percent for the week ending Jan. 9. This figure remains below the national baseline of 2.6 percent.

2. No new pediatric flu deaths were reported for the week ending Jan. 2. In total, one pediatric flu death has been recorded for the 2020-21 flu season. 

3. The national flu and pneumonia mortality rate is 17.2 percent, which sits above the epidemic threshold of 7 percent. The majority of these deaths are attributed to COVID-19.

4. No states reported very high, high or moderate flu activity for the week ending Jan. 9. Five states — California, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee — reported low flu activity, while 45 states reported minimal flu activity. Washington, D.C., was excluded because of insufficient data. 

5. 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:
29 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Jan. 15
4 former CDC directors on the vaccine rollout, variants and more: 7 insights
States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered

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