US flu activity holds steady into May: CDC

As summer approaches, flu positivity levels in the U.S. remain unseasonably high, the CDC's latest FluView report shows. 

Eight CDC updates: 

1. Of all specimens tested in a clinical lab, 8.6 percent were positive for the flu for the week ending May 7, up slightly from 8.1 percent the week prior.

2. For the week ending May 7, 3,071 lab-confirmed flu patients were admitted to a hospital, about the same as the week before. 

3. New Mexico reported very high flu activity for the third consecutive week. Colorado, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico reported high flu activity. New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Florida reported moderate activity. Ten states — Washington, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Wyoming, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Hawaii and Maine — and New York City reported low activity. Remaining states reported minimal activity. 

4. No pediatric flu deaths were reported for the week ending May 7. There have been 24 pediatric flu-related deaths so far this season. 

5. The percentage of visits to an outpatient provider for respiratory illness was 2.3 percent for the week ending May 7, about the same as the previous week. This is below the national baseline of 2.5 percent. 

6. Nationwide, 0.9 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 7.2 percent, which exceeds the epidemic threshold of 6.6 percent for the week ending May 7. Among 1,425 deaths reported for the week, 533 had COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death, and 29 listed the flu. 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 6.5 million flu illnesses, 65,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 flu-related deaths so far this season. 

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