US flu activity continues to decline across the country, according to the latest update from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today.
The weekly FluView report, which covers the week ending Jan 14, shows the percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like respiratory illness dropped to 3%, down from 4% the previous week. In addition, only seven jurisdictions reported high flu activity, down from 20. No jurisdictions reported very high flu activity, compared with two the previous week. The CDC also noted that three regions were below their outpatient respiratory illness baselines for the first time since October 2022.
The percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu fell from 8.6% to 4.6%. Influenza A made up 97.3% of flu samples from clinical labs, and the H3N2 strain remains the dominant strain, accounting for 81.3% of subtyped specimens at public health laboratories.
Flu hospitalizations also continued to decline from their peak in week 48 (early December), when nearly 28,000 new influenza hospital admissions were reported. A total of 6,367 flu hospitalizations were reported for the week ending Jan 14.
Six more flu-associated pediatric deaths were reported, bringing the total number of pediatric flu deaths for the 2022-2023 flu season to 85. An additional pediatric death from week 27 of the 2021-22 season was also reported to the CDC, bringing the total number of pediatric deaths for that season to 45.
The CDC estimates there have been at least 25 million illnesses, 270,000 hospitalizations, and 17,000 deaths from flu so far this season.