Five states were reported to be at the highest level of influenza-like illness (ILI) activity for the week ending Jan. 21, compared with three states the week before, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Alabama, Kansas, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and South Carolina were at level 10 on the CDC’s 1-10 scale of ILI activity, with Oklahoma reaching that level for the third consecutive week. Georgia (level 9) and Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, and Tennessee (level 8) were also in the “high” range, the CDC reported.
Overall, outpatient visits for ILI – defined as fever (temperature of 100° F or greater) and cough and/or sore throat – were at 3.4% for the week ending Jan. 20, matching the high point for the season, which was previously reached in the last week of December. The national baseline for outpatient ILI visits is 2.2%, the CDC noted.
Three flu-related pediatric deaths were reported for the week, although two occurred during the week ending Jan. 14. The two earlier deaths were associated with an influenza A (H3) virus, and the more recent death was associated with an influenza B virus. For the 2016-2017 season so far, there have been a total of eight pediatric deaths, the CDC said.