46 states report widespread flu activity: 5 things to know

The U.S. experienced another sharp rise in influenza activity, with all but four states reporting widespread flu activity from Dec. 24-30, according to the CDC's most recent update on the 2017-18 flu season published Friday.

Here are five things to know.

1. The percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness was 5.8 percent for the week ending Dec. 30, up from 5 percent the week prior. This figure sits above the national baseline of 2.2 percent.

2. The percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for influenza in clinical laboratories increased the week ending Dec. 30. The most frequently identified virus type in positive specimens continued to be influenza A, with 27,241 total positive tests for the season. Additionally, the CDC reported 5,585 total positive tests for influenza B for the current flu season.

3. The CDC reported one additional pediatric flu death for the week ending Dec. 30, increasing the total number of flu-related pediatric deaths to 13 for the current flu season. The agency tallied a total of 110 such deaths for last year's flu season.

4. The CDC tallied 3,927 laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated hospitalizations between October 1, 2017 and December 30, 2017.

5. Forty-six states reported widespread flu activity for the week ending Dec. 30, marking a 10-state increase from the week prior and the most states reporting widespread flu acitivity in a single week thus far in the 2017-18 flu season. Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire and New Jersey reported regional activity; Washington, D.C., reported local flu activity; and Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands did not report to the CDC on flu activity for the week ending Dec. 30.

To view a map of the geographical spread of influenza in the U.S., click here.

More articles on infection control: 
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E. Coli, influenza, whooping cough: 7 recent and ongoing outbreaks

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