Influenza-like illness (ILI) activity in the United States continued to drop during the week ending March 26, 2016, with only one state still at the highest level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That one state was New Jersey, which was at level 10 on the CDC’s 1-10 scale of ILI activity. One state at level 10 was down from three states the week before and seven states 2 weeks earlier. Also down for a second consecutive week was the proportion of outpatient visits for ILI, which was 2.9% for the most recent week, compared with 3.2% the previous week and a season high of 3.7% for the week ending March 12, the CDC’s Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) reported.

The only other state in the “high” range for the week ending March 26 was New Mexico at level 8. States in the “moderate” range were Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania at level 7 and Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia at level 6, according to data from ILINet.

Three flu-related pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during the week, but two occurred the previous week and one occurred in February. That brings the total of flu-related pediatric deaths to 33 for the 2015-2016 influenza season, the CDC said. However, 7.7% of all deaths reported through the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to pneumonia and influenza. This percentage was above the epidemic threshold of 7.2%.

The CDC also reported a cumulative rate for the season of 21.4 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population. The highest rate of hospitalization was among adults aged 65 years or older (54.5 per 100,000 population), followed by adults aged 50-64 (31.4 per 100,000 population) and children aged 0-4 years (29.3 per 100,000 population).

rfranki@frontlinemedcom.com

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