Flu remains widespread in 34 states as viral activity wanes: 5 things to know

While the CDC reported a second consecutive week of declining flu activity in its most recent FluView report, flu remains widespread in 34 states, and the agency expects viral activity to remain elevated for several more weeks.

Here are five things to know.

1. The percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness was 3.7 percent for the week ending March 3, marking a 1.2 percent decline from the week prior. This figure still sits above the 2.2 percent national baseline and is comparable to the rate of influenza-like illness experienced during the peak of the 2015-16 flu season, according to a CDC summary report.

2. The overall flu-associated hospitalization rate was 86.3 per 100,000 population for the week ending March 3. The CDC tallied 24,644 laboratory-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations from Oct. 1, 2017, through March 3, 2018.

3. The most frequently identified virus type in positive specimens this flu season has been influenza A, primarily driven by the H3N2 strain. However, influenza A and B cases identified for the week ending March 3 were nearly even, marking the second consecutive week the CDC documented the trend.

4. The CDC increased its count of pediatric flu deaths for the 2017-18 flu season by five, bringing this season's total to 119.

5. The number of states reporting widespread flu activity for the week ending March 3 declined by 11. Thirty-four states and Puerto Rico reported widespread flu activity for the week. Alabama, Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Guam reported regional flu activity; Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., reported local flu activity; and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported no flu activity for the week.

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