CDC: Flu hospitalizations, outpatient visits continue to rise

Two more pediatric flu deaths were reported during the week of Jan. 8 for a total of five so far this season, and flu is now widespread in 28 states, according to the most recent update of the CDC's FluView.

Flu-related hospitalizations are also on the rise. Between Oct. 1 and Jan. 14, 2,864 lab-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations were reported, an increase of 872 people from the week prior. The overall hospitalization rate was 10.2 per 100,000 people.

Not only is influenza hospitalizing patients, it is also sending them to outpatient clinics — 3.3 percent of patient visits to outpatient clinics were for influenza-like illness during the week of Jan. 8, above the national baseline of 2.2 percent.

Some states are seeing more activity than others — Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee had high influenza-like illness activity during the week of Jan. 8.

However, the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza is still below the national epidemic threshold.

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