Has the flu season peaked? 6 things to know

During the week ending Feb. 18, influenza activity decreased slightly, but remains elevated, according to the CDC's most recent FluView report.

Here are six metrics to know from the most recent FluView.

1. The number of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness dropped for the first time in six weeks, to 4.8 percent of visits (down from 5.2 percent the week prior).

2. The percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu also decreased slightly in the week ending Feb. 18, but did remain elevated.

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3. Flu hospitalizations also dropped, from 3.9 per 100,000 people to 2.8 per 100,000 people, the biggest one-week drop recorded this season.

4. Additionally, one less state reported high influenza-like activity (27 compared to 28 the week prior).

5. However, the number of pediatric flu deaths continues to grow. Five flu-related pediatric deaths were reported in the week ending Feb. 18, growing the total number of pediatric flu deaths to 34.

6. The percentage of pneumonia and influenza deaths remains above the epidemic threshold — 7.8 percent of the deaths in the week ending Feb. 4 were due to pneumonia and influenza, above the epidemic threshold of 7.5 percent for that week.

More articles on the flu:
Asthma drugs could prove effective for influenza pneumonia prevention
How this flu season stacks up to past seasons: 5 key metrics
9 Texas schools close due to influenza outbreaks

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