Outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) held steady for the week ending March 25, but the number of states at the “high” range of activity dropped from 12 from 10 the previous week, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.
The proportion of outpatient visits for ILI was 3.2% for the second consecutive week, which halted the slowdown in activity that began the week ending Feb. 18. That 3.2% represents just under 25,000 visits for ILI of the almost 747,000 total visits reported to the Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) for the week ending March 25. By age, the largest groups with ILI visits for the week were individuals aged 5-24 years (41%) and those aged 4 years and under (20%), the CDC reported.
A look at the map shows that ILI activity is still highest in the South, where all seven of the states at level 10 on the CDC’s 1-10 scale are to be found – Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee – as well as Arkansas, which was in the “high” range at level 8. The other two states in the high range were Minnesota at level 9 and Virginia at level 8, the ILINet data show.
There were six flu-related pediatric deaths reported during the week ending March 25, but all occurred in earlier weeks. The total number of such deaths is now 61 for the 2016-2017 season, the CDC said.