CDC: U.S. Flu Activity Remains Low Through Mid-October
(HealthDay News) – During the week of Oct. 6–Oct. 12, flu activity remained low in the United States, according to FluView, a weekly influenza surveillance report prepared by the Influenza Division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of the 3,534 specimens tested and reported by the U.S. World Health Organization and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System collaborating laboratories during week 41, 4.7% were positive. The percent of positive respiratory specimens was higher in the Southeast than in the rest of the country.
The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 1.1% for Oct. 6–12, below the national baseline of 2%. The geographic spread of influenza in Puerto Rico was categorized as regional, while three states -- Alabama, South Carolina, and Texas -- reported local influenza activity. Twenty-four states reported sporadic influenza activity, while 22 states reported no activity. Nevada did not report during this time period.
"Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, missed work due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths," according to a statement from the CDC.