Flu season shows signs of ebbing, but risk remains

Posted at 4:29 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 12:19:40-05

ATLANTA (RNN) – Flu season appears to be steadily, if slowly, winding down, though it remains deadly according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The weekly report on influenza shows that 39 states still experienced “high activity” at clinics and hospitals related to the flu. That is four fewer than last week.

Additionally, the situation in Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota and Connecticut improved from the agency’s most-active designation.

The Associated Press also reported, citing U.S. health officials, that the number of visits to the doctor related to the flu was down to 1 out of every 16.

The virus nonetheless remains deadly. Thirteen children died in the last week, bringing the seasonal total to 97. Typically the most at-risk pediatric cases involve children with compromised immune systems or other types of systemic vulnerabilities.

In the latest data on overall deaths, through Feb. 3, the broader pneumonia and influenza mortality rate appears to be tapering off.

There were 776 flu deaths in the fifth week of 2018, according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC. That figure maintained a steady drop from 1,041 the week before and since the peak of this year’s lethal flu season in mid-January, when 1,331 flu deaths were recorded.

That data is however preliminary and subject to change.

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