Friday, June 14, 2013

United States Flu Season Recap - Moderately Severe

June 13, 2013

In a snapshot of the flu season that just wrapped up, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today that 2012-13 made its mark for several reasons, including a peak percentage of doctors' visits for flulike illness that, at 6.1%, was one of the highest since the current reporting system began in 1997. Writing in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the CDC said the rate of flu hospitalizations in older people was the highest since the agency started collecting that information in the 2005-06 season. The number of pediatric flu deaths topped all years since data collection began, except for the 2009 H1N1 months. Flu activity, as measured by percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive, peaked early, by the week ending Dec 29. The H3N2 virus predominated until the end of February, when influenza B edged it out. The CDC warned that although flu activity is typically low during the summer, cases and sporadic outbreaks continue to be detected. It urged clinicians to keep their guard up and consider novel influenza viruses, especially in sick patients who have had swine exposure and in those who get sick after traveling to China.
Jun 14 MMWR report

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