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Jan. 9, 2023 — New cases of the flu in the United States continued to decline as 2022 ended, with flu-related outpatient visits to doctors’ offices and hospitals falling for a fifth straight week, according to the latest CDC data.
While the good news, the number of hospitalizations for flu and flu-like illnesses remained stable.
Outpatient visits for flu-like illness accounted for 5.4% of all visits to health care providers during the week of December 25-31, according to data from the CDC’s Outpatient Influenza-Like Illness Surveillance Network. Based on the latest FluView report from the CDC Influenza Division, that’s down from last week’s 6.0% and looks like a seasonal peak of 7.5% in late November.
The CDC’s surveillance network defines influenza-like illness as fever and cough or sore throat, not laboratory-confirmed flu, so the data does not include other respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). ) Are included. But the language of the FluView report makes it clear that the CDC emphasizes the flu.
State-level data confirms the national decline: Only 12 jurisdictions were at “very high” flu activity for the week of December 25-31, compared with 24 the week before. (Jurisdiction includes the 50 states, as well as the territories, New York City and the District of Columbia.) Another step down shows the number of metro areas with very high activity has dropped from 59 to 37, the CDC said.
Despite a decline in outpatient visits, hospital admissions remained around 19,000 for the second straight week after a 2-week decline, according to data from the US Health and Human Services Safety Forum.Another measure that did not show improvement was the proportion of deaths due to flu, which was higher for December 25–31 (1.63%) than for the previous 2 weeks (1.53% and 1.6%), according to data from the National Center . For health statistics included in CDC reports.
The total number of deaths so far during the 2022-23 flu season is about 14,000, with 230,000 hospitalizations and illnesses estimated at nearly 22 million. The CDC said 13 of the deaths during the latest week were children, and the season’s total now stands at 74.