US sees longest flu season in 10 years: 6 things to know

The U.S. has experienced 21 consecutive weeks of elevated flu activity, making this the longest flu season in a decade, 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 2.1 percent for the week ending April 20, marking the first time this figure falls below the national baseline of 2.2 percent since November 2018.

2. Puerto Rico experienced high influenza-like illness activity for the week ending April 20; one state reported moderate activity; nine states experienced low activity; and 40 states and Washington, D.C., experienced minimal activity.

3. The number of respiratory specimens testing positive for flu viruses also decreased. The CDC confirmed 1,155 positive specimens for influenza A and 361 positive specimens for influenza B for the week ending April 20.

4. The overall flu-associated hospitalization rate increased from 62.3 per 100,000 people for the week ending April 13 to 64.2 per 100,000 people for the week ending April 20.

5. Five pediatric flu deaths were reported to the CDC for the week ending April 20, bringing the total count to 96 for the 2018-19 season.

6. Flu was still widespread in five states for the week ending April 20. Puerto Rico and 17 states reported regional flu activity; 19 states reported local flu activity; and Washington, D.C., and nine states reported sporadic activity.

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