US flu activity already at mid-season levels

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November 29, 2022 — Reports of respiratory illness continued to mount as the 2022-23 flu season maintained its early rise through mid-November, according to the CDC.

Nationally, 6% of all outpatient visits during the week of November 13-19 were due to the flu or flu-like illness, up from 5.8% the previous week, the CDC’s Influenza Division said in its report weekly FluView report.

Those numbers are the highest in November since 2009, but the peak of the 2009-10 flu season was even earlier – the week of October 18-24 – and the flu-like illness rate had already fallen to just over 4.0%. from November 15 to 21 of this year and continued to decline thereafter.

Although COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are included in data from the CDC’s Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network, the agency noted that “seasonal influenza activity is elevated across the country” and estimated that “There have been at least 6.2 million illnesses, 53,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths from influenza” during the 2022-23 season.

The total number of influenza deaths includes 11 reported children in children on November 19, and children aged 0 to 4 years had a higher proportion of influenza-like illness visits than other age groups.

The agency also said the cumulative hospitalization rate of 11.3 per 100,000 population is “higher than that in [the corresponding week of] every previous season since 2010-2011.” Adults 65 and older have the highest cumulative rate this year at 25.9 per 100,000, compared with 20.7 for children 0 to 4 years; 11.1 for adults 50-64; 10.3 for children 5-17; and 5.6 for adults ages 18 to 49, the CDC said.

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US flu activity already at mid-season levels
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