CDC: Flu Rate Continues to Rise, With Nearly Half of Cases in Older Patients

Between Oct. 1, 2012 and Jan. 12, 2013, there were 5,249 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations — a rate of 18.8 per 100,000 population, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The report, "FluView: Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network" includes data for the week ending Jan. 12 — the second week of the 2012 to 2013 influenza season. The rate of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations from Oct. 1 to Jan. 5, the end of the first week of the flu season, was 13.3 per 100,000 population.

In the second week, the overall rate of outpatient visits due to influenza-like illness was 4.6 percent, compared with the 2.2 percent baseline rate. Flu-like illness activity in outpatient clinics was higher than average in thirty states and New York City. Ten states reported moderate flu-like illness activity, seven states reported low activity and three states reported activity below the average rate.

Flu rates in the second week were highest for people older than 64, at a rate of 82.1 per 100,000. People in this age group account for nearly half of all flu cases so far this season, according to the CDC report.

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