While influenza A declines, influenza B makes late-season surge

While the percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for flu is on the decline and influenza A remains the most frequently identified flu strain, instances of influenza B infections seem to be on the rise, according to the CDC's most recent FluView.

The percent of positive influenza B tests has been on the rise for the last two weeks reported, while the percent of specimens testing positive for influenza A has decreased for the last five weeks. For the week ending March 18, 9.49 percent of specimens tested positive for influenza A and 8.4 percent were influenza B, compared to 11.54 percent and 7.43 percent, respectively, the week before.

Sign up for our FREE E-Weekly for more coverage like this sent to your inbox

According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, the late-season influenza B surge is "typical".

Overall, flu activity decreased during the week ending March 18, but is still elevated — the proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness remained above the national baseline, and the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza remained above the epidemic threshold as well.

More people this flu season have been hospitalized than in the 2015-16 season: This season, the overall hospitalization rate is 50.4 per 100,000 people, while last season at this time the overall hospitalization rate was 20.6 per 100,000 people.

More articles on influenza:
Penn Medicine sets sights on Yelp, Twitter data to drive better patient care
Bird flu spreads to second Tennessee farm
CDC: Tennessee bird flu outbreak poses little health risk to humans

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 


IC Database-3

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months