Although cases of influenza-related cases recorded across the United States have slightly lowered in the past weeks, children who have died of the virus totaled to 33 since October last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.
Based on the latest influenza monitoring data sheet from CDC, covering the period of March 20-26, cases of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) across the country remained at an elevated level with a total of 18,309 of recorded cases. A large chunk of these cases is caused by A(H1N1)pdm09 strain.
Similar to the previous week, the most common type of influenza in the U.S. was the influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 virus, followed by the A(H3) type. But this time, the current data shows that the number of respiratory specimen that tested positive for influenza after clinical analysis has dramatically decreased.
Countrywide, the total number of A (H1N1) pdm09 cases was pegged at 11,111 as of March 26, from the 9,748 as of March 19. This figure only covers those screened from state health laboratories and does not include those tested from private clinics and hospitals.
While the number of reported ILI across the country remained at an elevated level, the same is not enough to declare a disease epidemic based on the threshold from the NCHS Mortality Surveillance System.
Based on the same report, 29 U.S. states along with Puerto Rico and Guam have reported a widespread of influenza in the same week, while 18 other states recorded regional activity, as per geographic spread of the virus. In terms of outpatient surveillance, Puerto Rico, along with two U.S. states, recorded high ILI activity.
“The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 2.9%, which is above the national baseline of 2.1%. Nine of 10 regions reported ILI at or above region-specific baseline levels,” the report reads.