CDC reports widespread flu activity in 12 states: 5 things to know

Influenza activity increased across the U.S. during the week ending Dec. 9 with 12 states reporting widespread flu activity, according to the CDC's most recent update on the 2017-18 flu season published Friday.

Here are five things to know.

1. The CDC reported one additional pediatric flu death during the week ending Dec. 9, increasing the total number of flu-related pediatric deaths to eight for the 2017-18 flu season. The agency tallied a total of 110 such deaths for last year's flu season.

2. The percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for influenza in clinical laboratories increased the week ending Dec. 9. The most frequently identified virus type in positive specimens continued to be influenza A with 7,218 total positive tests for the season. Additionally, the CDC reported 2,228 positive tests for influenza B for the current flu season as of Dec. 9.

3. The percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness was 2.7 percent for the week ending Dec. 9, marking a 0.4 percent increase from the week prior. This figure sits above the national baseline of 2.2 percent.

4. The number of deaths related to pneumonia and influenza for the week remained below epidemic thresholds.

5. Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin all reported widespread flu activity for the week. Puerto Rico and 26 states reported regional activity; 10 states reported local flu activity; and Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and two states reported sporadic flu activity. Guam did not give the CDC a report on flu activity for the week ending Dec. 9.

More articles on infection control: 
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CDC: Global annual flu deaths greater than previously estimated 
Shortened 15-second time for alcohol-based hand rub may improve hand hygiene compliance

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