Dec. 16, 2022 — It’s starting to look less like an epidemic as seasonal flu activity “appears to be decreasing in some areas,” the CDC said this week.
Declines in a few states and territories were enough to reduce national activity, as measured by influenza-like illness outpatient visits, for the second consecutive week. That reduced the number of weekly hospital admissions for the first time this season, according to the CDC’s Influenza Division’s FluView weekly report.
Influenza-related hospital admissions fell to around 23,500 in the week of Dec. 4-10, after topping 26,000 the previous week, based on data reported by 5,000 hospitals in every state. and territories.
The weekly hospitalization rate fell from 8 per 100,000 people to 4.5 per 100,000, which was still higher than any December rate in any previous season dating back to 2009-10, CDC data shows. .
Visits for flu-like illnesses accounted for 6.9% of all outpatient visits reported to the CDC during the week of Dec. 4-10. The rate hit 7.5% in the last full week of November before dropping to 7.3%, the CDC said.
There were 28 states or territories with “very high” activity for the last reporting week, up from 32 the previous week. Eight states — Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Washington — and New York were highest on the CDC’s 1-13 activity scale, down from 14 areas the previous week, the reports the agency.
So far this season, the CDC has estimated there have been at least 15 million flu cases, 150,000 hospitalizations and 9,300 deaths. Of those deaths, 30 were reported in children, compared to 44 for the entire 2021-22 season and just one for 2020-21.