After relatively low levels of influenza activity in the early part of the season, since January influenza activity has been picking up in the US. This week 44 states are reporting widespread influenza activity. This is up from 31 states reporting widespread activity last week. Five states are reporting regional activity, making 49 states overall.
Overall this week a third of specimens tested by the U.S. World Health Organization laboratories in the United States which is one of the ways that CDC track influenza activity, are reporting positive specimens, so one-third of the specimens tested for influenza are positive which has increased from last week??s total as well.
Dr. Joe Bresee, chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch in the CDC’s Influenza Division, said at a news briefing that CDC report ten child deaths have occurred from influenza during this season. Nine of these deaths have occurred since January 1 and the increase coincides with the overall increase in influenza activity in the nation.
Surveillance information from this week indicates that the H3N2 virus, which again is one of the two A-type viruses, or A subtypes, is currently the virus that??s circulating most widely in the United States this week and has become the predominant virus in the country this year.
Dr. Joe Bresee reminded that CDC would like to remind people that they can still take additional measures besides vaccination, although vaccination remains the best method of prevention for influenza vaccine. We’d like to remind folks that other methods are available to prevent or treat the influenza, including protective ?C everyday protective actions like staying home from work when you’re sick and use of ?C appropriate use of antiviral medications.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA