CDC: Flu activity drops across the country
Only two states reported high levels of influenza-like illness (ILI) last week, according to the latest influenza surveillance data reported today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And only 11 states, down from the previous week's 16, recorded widespread influenza activity.
In another sign the flu season is drawing to an end, the rate of outpatient visits for ILI dropped again this week, to 2.4%, down from 2.5% in the previous week. This is the 19th week ILI has been at or above the national baseline, which is 2.2%.
The CDC confirmed 5 additional pediatric deaths, bringing the season's total to 142.
Overall hospitalization rates were 99.9 per 100,000 persons—up from 96.1 last week—with adults over the age of 65 representing the highest proportion of hospitalizations, at 429.4 per 100,000 population, followed by adults aged 50 to 64 (108.7 per 100,000 population) and children aged 0 to 4 years (71.2 per 100,000 population). The vast majority of hospitalizations (75.4%) were associated with influenza A virus.
As typically happens at the end of the flu season, influenza B was the most commonly detected strain among all cases last week, seen in 60.4% of clinical lab specimens. In public health laboratories, influenza B was seen in 61.7% of specimens. Among influenza A specimens, H3N2 was still the dominant subtype, seen in 60.8% of samples.
Apr 6 CDC FluView
H7N9 detected on Chinese farm; H5N1 found in India crow deaths
Veterinary officials in China yesterday reported a new highly pathogenic H7N9 avian flu outbreak in poultry, which struck a layer farm in Shanxi province in the northern part of the country, according to a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The event began on Mar 27, killing 699 of 6,374 chickens. The surviving birds were culled as part of the outbreak response. The country reported its last H7N9 outbreak in early March, which involved a layer farm in neighboring Shaanxi province.
Elsewhere, India today reported a highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreak that affected house crows in a village in Uttar Pradesh state in the north of the country, according to a report from the OIE. The event began on Mar 23, killing 80 crows. In early March, India reported a similar H5N1 outbreak involving 173 dead crows in Orissa state in the east.
Apr 5 OIE report on H7N9 in China
Apr 6 OIE report on H5N1 in India