Mild flu season so far, with vaccine providing moderate protection, says CDC report

The flu season strengthened in February, but according to the latest statistics from CDC, this has been a low-severity flu season overall. As outlined in the February 15 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, outpatient visits for flu-like illness are low, as are hospitalization rates. Compared with recent flu seasons, fewer deaths are being attributed to pneumonia and influenza, as well.

Early and interim findings from CDC also point to flu vaccine effectiveness. Flu vaccination this season has reduced the risk of illness from flu by about one-half (47%) for those individuals who were vaccinated. Flu vaccine effectiveness this season for children is estimated as high as 60%.

The latest CDC findings analyzed flu activity from September 30, 2018–February 2, 2019. Figures were low during October and November, increased in late December, and remained elevated through early February. CDC is encouraging individuals who have not yet been vaccinated against the flu virus to do so. Flu activity is expected to continue for weeks.