After rising to a high point for the season in the last week of 2016, influenza activity dropped a bit in the first week of the new year but then rose again in the second week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As measured by outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI), activity slipped from 3.4% at the end of 2016 to 3.2% for the week ending Jan. 7 but then ticked up to 3.3% for the week ending Jan. 14, the CDC reported. The national baseline level of outpatient visits is 2.2% for ILI, which is defined as fever (temperature of 100° F or greater) and cough and/or sore throat.

For the week ending Jan. 14, three states – New York, Oklahoma, and Tennessee – were at level 10 on the CDC’s 1-10 scale of flu activity. Other states in the “high” range were New Jersey and South Carolina at level 9 and Missouri at level 7, while another eight states and Puerto Rico were in the “moderate” range at levels 6-7, the CDC said.

Two influenza-related pediatric deaths were reported for the week ending Jan. 14, although both occurred in earlier weeks: one during the week ending Dec. 10 and one during the week ending Jan. 7. So far for the 2016-2017 season, a total of five flu-related pediatric deaths have been reported, according to the CDC.

rfranki@frontlinemedcom.com

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