3.7M flu cases so far this season, CDC says, more expected

There have been at least 3.7 million illnesses, 32,000 hospitalizations and 1,800 deaths from influenza during the 2019-20 season, according to the CDC's most recent FluView report

Six things to know:

1. Current activity is mostly caused by influenza B/Victoria viruses, which is unusual for this time of year, the report said.  

2. All regions of the U.S. are seeing elevated levels of flu-like illness. Nineteen states experienced high flu-like illness activity for the week ending Dec. 14. Another six states and the District of Columbia experienced moderate activity, 10 states reported low activity and 14 states experienced minimal activity.

3. The percentage of outpatient visits for flu-like illness was 3.9 percent for the week ending Dec. 14, surpassing the national baseline of 2.4 percent.

4. Nine new pediatric flu deaths were reported to the CDC in the week ending Dec. 14. Nineteen pediatric deaths have occurred in the 2019-20 flu season thus far.

5. Thirty states reported widespread flu activity and 17 reported regional flu activity for the week ending Dec. 14. Two states and the District of Columbia reported local flu activity, while Hawaii reported sporadic activity.

6. The overall flu-associated hospitalization rate was 5.5 per 100,000 people, an increase from 2.7 per 100,000 for the week ending Nov. 30.  

7. For the week ending Dec. 14, 16.3 percent of respiratory specimens tested positive for flu in clinical laboratories nationwide. The agency has confirmed 33,918 positive specimens since Sept. 29.

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