CDC: Six more pediatric deaths from influenza, more hospitalizations
There were six more pediatric influenza deaths reported in the last week, according to today's FluView from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Last week, the CDC reported only two such deaths. So far, there have been 61 pediatric deaths during the 2016-17 flu season.
According to this week's data, the overall hospitalization rate for influenza-like illness (ILI) rose to 54.1 per 100,000 population, up from last week's 50.4 per 100,000 population. Hospitalization rates for adults over the age of 65 jumped to 243.6 per 100,000 population, up from 228.6 per 100,000 population last week. The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 3.2%, the same as last week, still well above the national baseline of 2.2% for this time of year.
Flu was geographically widespread in 31 states last week, 5 fewer than the previous 2 weeks. Twelve states reported regional flu activity, an increase from last week’s 10.
States reporting high ILI decreased from 12 to 10 this week, with 8 states experiencing moderate flu activity, and 8 states experiencing low activity. New York City, Puerto Rico and 24 states reported minimal activity.
Though the season has been dominated by influenza A, last week's lab-confirmed specimens were split, with 50.3 % testing as influenza A and 46.8% influenza B. Of the "A" strains that were subtyped, 90.9% were H3N2.
Mar 31 CDC FluView
H5N1 strikes farms in Cameroon; more H5N8 detected in Europe
In the latest highly pathogenic avian flu outbreak developments, Cameroon reported two more H5N1 outbreaks, and Italy and Slovenia reported more H5N8 events in poultry and wild birds, respectively.
Cameroon's outbreaks struck farms in Ouest province in the west central part of the country, beginning on Mar 3 and Mar 5. According to notification today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), one of the outbreaks was found during sampling of droppings and food following the depopulation of 90-week-old discarded layers. The other involved a flock of 30-week-old layers. At the second facility, the virus killed 1,487 of 6,320 birds, and authorities culled the remaining ones as one of the response steps.
Cameroon and a few other African nations have been battling a resurgence of H5N1 since 2015.
Elsewhere, Italy reported two more H5N8 outbreaks in poultry, one in backyard birds in Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in the northeast and the other at a turkey fattening farm in neighboring Veneto region, according to the OIE. The events both began on Mar 28, and taken together the virus killed 56 of 16,050 birds.
Slovenia reported three more H5N8 detections in three mute swans found dead in the middle of March in three different cities in the northeast.
Mar 31 OIE report on H5N1 in Cameroon
Mar 30 OIE report on H5N8 in Italy
Mar 31 OIE report on H5N8 in Slovenia