High flu activity will last several more weeks, CDC says

The U.S. will experience elevated flu activity for several more weeks, the CDC said in a summary of its most recent FluView report.

Six things to know:

1. The percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness decreased to 3.2 percent for the week ending March 30, but it still sits above the national baseline of 2.2 percent. Levels of influenza-like illness have been at or above the national baseline for 19 weeks, compared to an average of 16 weeks for the previous five flu seasons.

2. The CDC confirmed 4,942 positive respiratory specimens for influenza A in the week ending March 30, which marks a significant drop from the previous week. The agency also confirmed 382 positive specimens for influenza B, up slightly from the week prior.

3. The overall flu-associated hospitalization rate increased from 52.5 per 100,000 for the week ending March 23 to 56.4 per 100,000 for the week ending March 30. The CDC reported 16,274 laboratory-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations between Oct. 1, 2018, and March 30.

4. Six states experienced high influenza-like illness activity for the week ending March 30, down 14 states from a week prior. Nineteen states reported moderate activity; 13 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia experienced low activity; and 12 states experienced minimal activity.

5. Five additional pediatric flu deaths were reported to the CDC for the 2018-19 season, bringing the total count to 82 as of March 30.

6. Flu was widespread in 33 states and Puerto Rico for the week ending March 30. Fifteen states reported regional flu activity, and the District of Columbia and one state reported local flu activity.

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