US flu activity low as 2018-19 season kicks off

Influenza activity in the U.S. remained low throughout the summer months and early October, according to the CDC's most recent FluView report.

This is the agency's first report of the 2018-19 flu season and covers the week ending Oct. 6.

Five things to know:

1. Although influenza B viruses were more commonly detected from May until late June this year, influenza A viruses have predominated since  the beginning of July. The number of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza is low.

2. The proportion of outpatient visits for influenzalike illness stayed low at 1.4 percent, which is below the national baseline of 2.2 percent. All 10 regions in the U.S. reported influenzalike illness below region-specific baseline levels.

3. New York City, the District of Columbia and 49 states experienced minimal influenza-like illness activity. One state did not have sufficient data.

4. The number of deaths linked to pneumonia and influenza fell below the system-specific epidemic threshold in the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System.

5. The CDC received reports of two flu-associated pediatric deaths during the 2017-18 season, but it has not received influenza-associated pediatric death reports for the 2018-19 season.

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