Flu, pneumonia deaths now above epidemic threshold

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The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza has jumped above the national epidemic threshold for the first time this season, according to the CDC's latest FluView update.

According to the CDC, 7.4 percent of deaths were due to pneumonia and influenza during the week ending Jan. 7, which is above the epidemic threshold of 7.3 percent for that week.

Flu-related hospitalizations continued to rise as well. As of Jan. 21, there have been 4,317 lab-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations this season, up drastically from the 2,864 reported through Jan. 14.

Ten states reported high influenza-like illness activity through Jan. 21: Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Nationwide, 3.4 percent of outpatient visits were due to influenza-like illness, above the national baseline of 2.2 percent.

Furthermore, three flu-associated pediatric deaths were reported during the week of Jan. 15, meaning there have now been eight pediatric flu-related deaths so far this flu season.

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