Weekly Influenza News

Influenza News: April 19, 2019

91 pediatric deaths related to various influenza viruses have been confirmed during the 2018-2019 flu season

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 5 additional influenza-associated pediatric deaths during the 2018-2019 flu season. 

Three of these deaths were associated with an influenza A(H3) virus and 2 were associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed, said the CDC on April 19, 2019. 

This new data increases the total number of pediatric deaths to 91 during the 2018-2019 flu season. Additionally, the CDC is forecasting a total of flu-related deaths to reach between 34,400 to 57,300 adults. 

As of April 13, 2019, the CDC is now estimating the current flu season’s impact as follows: 

  • 36,000,000 – 41,300,000 symptomatic illnesses
  • 16,700,000 – 19,400,000 medical visits
  • 502,000 – 610,000 hospitalizations

The CDC’s Week #15 key indicators are as follows: 

  • The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza viruses in clinical laboratories decreased. During the most recent three weeks, influenza A(H3) viruses were reported more frequently than influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses nationally, and in all 10 HHS Regions
  • The majority of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and influenza B viruses characterized antigenically are similar to the cell-grown reference viruses representing the 2018–2019 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine viruses
  • However, the majority 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 2.4% but remains above the national baseline of 2.2%
  • One state experienced high ILI activity; five states experienced moderate ILI activity; New York City, Puerto Rico and 14 states experienced low ILI activity; the District of Columbia and 30 states experienced minimal ILI activity
  • A cumulative rate of 62.3 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population was reported. The highest hospitalization rate is among adults 65 years and older (206.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 population)

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