CDC: Flu activity in U.S. is high and continues to increase

The agency estimates that so far this season, there have been at least 6.4 million flu illnesses, 55,000 hospitalizations, and 2,900 deaths from the flu. These figures are up nearly 2 million more illnesses and 800 more deaths compared with the previous week. CDC noted that the 6.9% rate of outpatient visits for influenza-like illnesses is the same as the peak weeks of previous seasons. That figure is up from 5.1% last week.

According to CDC, influenza B continues to be the dominant strain, accounting for 67.9% of all positive influenza specimens last week, with 99.6% of all influenza B tested of Victoria lineage. The total number of pediatric influenza-related deaths so far this season increased by five in the past week, to 27. CDC added that influenza type varied by age group. "Nationally, influenza B/Victoria viruses are the most commonly reported influenza viruses among children age 0–4 years (48% of reported viruses) and 5–24 years (59% of reported viruses), while A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses are the most commonly reported influenza viruses among persons 25–64 years (42% of reported viruses) and 65 years of age and older (43% of reported viruses)," CDC said.

CDC is updating its webpage routinely with flu-related activity and statistics.