Flu count nears 10M cases, CDC says

The flu has already sickened an estimated 9.7 million people and killed 4,800 this season, according to the CDC's most recent FluView report.

Six things to know:

1. The percentage of outpatient visits for flu-like illness fell to 5.8 percent for the week ending Jan. 4.

2. The percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu also dropped to 23.3 percent. The CDC has confirmed 63,975 positive specimens since Sep. 29.

3. Thirty-three states experienced high flu-like illness activity, six states experienced moderate activity and eight states experienced low activity. New Hampshire experienced minimal activity.

4. Five pediatric flu deaths were reported to the CDC in the week ending Jan. 4, bringing the total count to 32 this season. This figure marks the highest death toll seen this early in the season since the CDC first started tracking flu data 17 years ago.

5. Forty-six states reported widespread flu activity, and three states reported regional flu activity this week. Hawaii reported local flu activity.

6. The overall flu-associated hospitalization rate increased to 14.6 per 100,000 people. The CDC has confirmed 4,228 flu-associated hospitalizations since Oct. 1.

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