There were as many as 26.3 million flu illnesses, 12.4 million medical visits and 347,000 flu hospitalizations between October 1 and March 2, according to the weekly flight report released Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We’re still having flu. And we’re still seeing steady stream of patients who are being admitted to hospital with influenza,” said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
Nine additional children died of flu-related causes during the week ending March 2, bringing the total to 64 for the season. However, not all flu-related deaths are detected or reported, so the CDC considers the actual number of deaths to be higher.
For adults, flu deaths are estimated based on pneumonia and other illnesses related to flu. The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and flu during the week ending February 23 was 7.5%, slightly higher than the usual threshold of 7.3% for this time of year, the CDC said, based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
It’s unclear whether the season has peaked, but there are still weeks of flu activity to come this season, with 48 states and Puerto Rico reporting wide-spread activity.
The CDC also recorded about 37 hospitalizations per every 1
00,000 people during the week ending March 2. This is the overall rate, with a higher proportion of people who are 65 and older requiring hospitalization (107 per every 100,000), followed by children up to age 4 (49 per every 100,000) and then people between the ages of 50 and 64 (48 per 100,000).
Hospitalization rates are lower than last season, the CDC said.
The H1N1 virus strain has dominated this season, but H3 viruses have been circulating in the Southeast, according to Schaffner. It’s been a “double-barreled flu outbreak this year,” he said, with H1N1 seen throughout most of the country and two waves of H3N2 infections in the southeastern United States. H3N2 viruses account for about two-thirds of influenza A viruses tested this past week, according to the CDC
“H3N2, a general, produces more severe disease,” he said. trouble last year. “
“All of these viruses, but especially H3N2, have a tendency to try to put you in the hospital and put up for a secondary case of pneumonia.” [FDA] approves first new flu drug in nearly 20 years  FDA approves first new flu drug in nearly 20 years ” class=”media__image” src=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181024134538-xofluza-fda-02-large-169.jpg”/>