Flu Continues Deadly Spread Across U.S.

By on 7:35 AM

Federal health officials have declared this year's influenza season to be more severe than any since 2009 (swine flu pandemic) and getting worse, with hospitalization rates likely to equal or surpass that of the 2014-2015 flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and media reports.

Here are some of the key facts and figures from CDC's latest "FluView Activity Update:"

  • All U.S. states but Hawaii continue to report widespread flu activity. 
  • The number of states experiencing "high" influenza activity increased from 32 states plus New York City and Puerto Rico to 39 states plus New York City and Puerto Rico.
  • The number of flu-related pediatric deaths reported this season is 37. 
  • Since Oct. 1, 2017, nearly 12,000 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported through the Influenza Hospitalization Network. This translates to a cumulative overall rate of nearly 42 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the United States.
  • The highest hospitalization rate is among people 65 years and older followed by adults aged 50-64 years and then younger children aged 0-4 years. 

With flu activity likely to continue for several more weeks, CDC is continuing to recommend influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months of age and older.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.