Dec. 16, 2022 — Seasonal flu activity “appears to be declining in some areas,” the CDC said this week, and it’s starting to look less like an epidemic.
The decline in several states and territories was enough to lower national activity, as measured by outpatient visits for influenza-like illness, for the second week in a row.This reduced weekly hospital admissions for the first time this quarter, according to the CDC’s flu division’s weekly report FluView report.
In the week of Dec. 4-10, flu-related hospitalizations slipped to about 23,500 after more than 26,000 the previous week, according to data from 5,000 hospital reports from all states and territories.
The weekly hospitalization rate fell from 8 per 100,000 to 4.5 per 100,000, which is still higher than any other December hospitalization rate in any other season since 2009-10, CDC data showed.
During the week of December 4-10, visits for influenza-like illness accounted for 6.9 percent of all outpatient visits reported to the CDC. The rate hit 7.5% in the last week of November before falling to 7.3%, the CDC said.
Twenty-eight states or territories had “very active” activity in the latest reporting week, compared with 32 the previous week. Eight states — Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Washington — and New York City are on the CDC’s 1-13 activity scale It was at the highest level, compared with 14 regions in the previous week, the agency reported.
So far this quarter, the CDC estimates there have been at least 15 million flu cases, 150,000 hospitalizations and 9,300 deaths. Of those deaths, 30 were reported as children, while there were 44 deaths throughout the 2021-22 season and just one in the 2020-21 season.