US flu hospitalizations fall for 1st time in months

A total of 3,070 people in the U.S. were admitted to hospitals for the flu for the week ending April 30, marking the first time flu hospitalizations have dropped since January, according to the CDC's latest FluView report. 

Eight CDC updates: 

1. Of all specimens tested in a clinical lab, 8.1 percent were positive for the flu for the week ending April 30, up slightly from 7.8 percent the week prior.

2. For the week ending April 30, 3,070 lab-confirmed flu patients were hospitalized, down from 3,452 the week before. This marks the first week flu-related positions reported to HHS have decreased since January. 

3. New Mexico reported very high flu activity for the second consecutive week. Puerto Rico reported high flu activity for the second consecutive week. Colorado and Massachusetts reported moderate activity. Seven states — Washington, Oklahoma, New York, Florida, Maine, Nevada and New Jersey — reported low flu activity. Remaining states reported minimal activity. The District of Columbia reported insufficient data. 

4. One pediatric flu death was reported for the week ending April 30, bringing the cumulative pediatric flu-related deaths this season to 24. 

5. The percentage of visits to an outpatient provider for respiratory illness was 2.2 percent for the week ending April 30, about the same as the previous week. This is below the national baseline of 2.5 percent. 

6. Nationwide, 0.8 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 6.7 percent for the week ending April 30. Among 1,373 deaths reported for the week, 470 had COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause, while 27 listed the same for 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 5.7 million flu illnesses, 59,000 hospitalizations and 3,600 flu-related deaths so far this season.

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