Weekly Influenza News

Up to 647,000 Influenza-Related Hospitalization Projected

106 pediatric deaths related to influenza reported by the CDC

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The 2018-2019 influenza season appears to be ending in the Northern Hemisphere, and there is some good and bad news to report. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported influenza activity across the USA was below the national baseline, for the 3rd week in a row. 

The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness decreased to 1.6 percent, which is below the national baseline of 2.2 percent.

This is the ‘good’ news.

The CDC did publish more bad news regarding pediatric deaths during this flu season.

During Week #18, there were 5 additional fatalities reported as of May 4, 2019. 

This new CDC data increases the total number of pediatric deaths to 106 during the 2018-2019 flu season. 

The CDC is estimating the total number of adult deaths related to influenza viruses could reach 61,200. 

Additionally, the CDC is estimating 37,400,000 – 42,900,000 symptomatic illnesses; 17,300,000 – 20,100,000 medical visits; 531,000 – 647,000 hospitalizations. 

Separately, the Walgreens Flu Index season-ending information published on May 2nd showed the top 4 markets for flu activity were all in Texas, including Brownsville, El Paso, Tyler, and Corpus Christi. 

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Worldwide, the National Influenza Centres and laboratories from 124 countries, areas or territories reported on April 29, 2019, 83.9 percent of samples were positive for influenza A and 16.1 percent as influenza B. 

Of the sub-typed influenza A viruses, 32.8 percent were influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 67.2 percent were influenza A(H3N2).

Of the characterized B viruses, 91.7 percent belonged to the B-Victoria lineage. 

If you do get sick from influenza, the CDC says the vast majority of influenza viruses show susceptibility to medications, such as oseltamivir, peramivir, and zanamivir. 

All influenza viruses tested showed susceptibility to zanamivir. 

Reporting of baloxavir susceptibility testing for the 2018-2019 influenza season will begin later this season, says the CDC.

More information regarding influenza antiviral drug resistance can be found here.

Most pharmacies in the USA offer these antiviral medicines.

Relevant Links: CDC vaccination schedules, CDC vaccine price list, international travel alerts, and report vaccine side effects.