Flu News: April 5, 2019
82 influenza-associated pediatric deaths confirmed during the 2018-2019 flu season
According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5 additional influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported during the 2018-2019 season.
And, 1 additional death occurred during the 2017-2018 flu season. This death was associated with an influenza A virus and brings the total number of reported influenza-associated deaths during that season to 186.
The total number of pediatric deaths related to the flu during the 2018-2019 season now totals 82, as of March 30, 2019.
Nationally, influenza activity decreased but remains elevated in the USA, with influenza A(H1N1) viruses predominating from October to mid-February, and influenza A(H3N2) viruses have been more commonly identified since late February 2019.
Additionally, small numbers of influenza B viruses have also been reported.
As of April 4, 2019, the CDC is now estimating the current flu season’s impact as follows:
- 32,200,000 – 38,100,000 symptomatic illnesses
- 15,300,000 – 17,800,000 medical visits
- 452,000 – 549,000 hospitalizations
- 30,6000 - 50,900 influenza-related deaths
The CDC’s Week #13 report included these indicators for the 2018-2019 influenza season:
- The majority of influenza viruses characterized antigenically are similar to the cell-grown reference viruses representing the 2018–2019 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine viruses. However, an increasing proportion of influenza A(H3N2) viruses are antigenically distinguishable from A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (3C.2a1), a cell-propagated reference virus representing the A(H3N2) component of 2018-19 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccines.
- The vast majority of influenza viruses tested (>99%) show susceptibility to oseltamivir and peramivir. All influenza viruses tested showed susceptibility to zanamivir.
- The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) decreased to 3.2% and remains above the national baseline of 2.2%. All 10 regions reported ILI at or above their region-specific baseline level.
- Six states experienced high ILI activity; 19 states experienced moderate ILI activity; New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 13 states experienced low ILI activity; 12 states experienced minimal ILI activity, and the U.S. Virgin Islands had insufficient data.
- The geographic spread of influenza in Puerto Rico and 33 states was reported as widespread; 15 states reported regional activity; the District of Columbia and one state reported local activity; the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam did not report.
- A cumulative rate of 56.4 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population was reported. The highest hospitalization rate is among adults 65 years and older (181.8 hospitalizations per 100,000 population).
- The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was at the system-specific epidemic threshold in the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Mortality Surveillance System.
Note: All CDC data are preliminary and may change as more reports are received. The CDC uses a model to estimate the numbers of influenza illnesses, medical visits, and hospitalizations in the United States.
Separately, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on April 1, 2019, that seasonal influenza A viruses accounted for the majority of detections:
- In Europe, influenza activity decreased across the continent. Both influenza A viruses co-circulated.
- In North Africa, influenza activity was still reported in some countries.
- In Western Asia, influenza activity appeared to decrease overall, with the exception of some countries, where activity remained elevated.
- In East Asia, although decreased influenza activity continued to be reported. Increased detections of influenza A(H3N2) and B (Victoria-lineage) viruses were reported in recent weeks.
- In Southern Asia, influenza appeared to decrease with influenza A(H1N1) virus predominating.
- In the Caribbean, Central American countries, and the tropical countries of South America, influenza and RSV activity were low in general.
- In the temperate zones of the Southern Hemisphere, influenza activity remained at inter-seasonal levels, with the exception of some parts of Australia where influenza activity remained above inter-seasonal levels.
And, flu vaccine discounts can be found at GoodRx.com.
Recent flu news:
- Universal Flu Shot Study Launched by NIH
- New Zealand Pharmacies Ready to Combat Southern Hemisphere Flu Viruses
- Flu Shots Help Heart Failure Patients Reduce Mortality Risks by 31%
Influenza vaccines, like any medication, can cause side effects, which should be reported to the CDC.