US flu activity increasing: 5 things to know

Influenza activity in the U.S. increased for the week ending Dec. 22, according to the CDC's most recent FluView report.

Five things to know:

1. The percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness rose to 3.3 percent in the week ending Dec. 22, which is above the national baseline of 2.2 percent. Nine of 10 regions reported influenza-like illness at or above their region-specific baseline level.

2. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for flu is increasing. The CDC confirmed 3,529 positive specimens for influenza A and 122 positive specimens for influenza B in the week ending Dec. 22.

3. The CDC reported 1,047 laboratory-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations from Oct. 1 through Dec. 22. The overall flu-associated hospitalization rate was 3.6 per 100,000 population.

4. Four pediatric flu deaths were reported to CDC for the week ending Dec. 22. A total of 11 pediatric flu deaths have been reported for the 2018-19 season.

5. Eleven states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York and North Carolina) reported widespread flu activity for the week ending Dec. 22. Nineteen states reported regional flu activity; 15 states reported local flu activity; and three states reported sporadic activity. Two states did not report data.

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