According to the first FluView report for the 2018-2019 flu season, seasonal influenza activity is low overall across the United States. Two states reported local influenza activity and 35 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported sporadic influenza activity. Flu vaccine is the best available way to protect against influenza and its potentially serious compilations. There are many benefits to vaccination, including reducing the risk of flu illness, doctor’s visits, hospitalization and even death in children. For the 2018-2019 influenza season, there is updated flu vaccine and many vaccine options, including nasal spray vaccine. CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated by the end of October.
Influenza-like Illness Surveillance: For the week ending October 6 (week 40), the proportion of people seeing their health care provider for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 1.4% and is below the national baseline of 2.2%. All 10 regions reported a proportion of outpatient visits for ILI below their region-specific baseline levels. Additional ILINet data, including national, regional, and select state-level data for the current and previous seasons, can be found at http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/fluportaldashboard.html.
Influenza-like Illness State Activity Indicator Map: New York City, the District of Columbia, and 49 states experienced minimal ILI activity. Data were insufficient to calculate an ILI activity level from Puerto Rico and one state (New York). Additional data, including data for previous seasons, can be found at https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/main.html.
Geographic Spread of Influenza Viruses: Local influenza activity was reported by 2 states (Hawaii and Massachusetts). Sporadic activity was reported by the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 35 states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming). No influenza activity was reported by the 12 states (Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia). Guam, Puerto Rico and one state (New Mexico) did not report.
Geographic spread data show how many areas within a state or territory are seeing flu activity. Additional data are available at: https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/FluView8.html.
Reporting of influenza-associated hospitalization data from the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) for the 2018-2019 influenza season will begin later this season.
Additional data, including hospitalization rates during previous influenza seasons, can be found at http://gis.cdc.gov/GRASP/Fluview/FluHospRates.html and http://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/FluHospChars.html.
The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was 5.4% during the weeks ending September 22, 2018 (week 38) and September 29, 2018 (week 39). This percentage is below the epidemic threshold of 5.7% for both week 38 and week 39 in the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) Mortality Surveillance System. Additional P&I mortality data for current and past seasons and by geography (national, HHS region, or state) are available at https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/mortality.html.
Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths that occurred during the 2017-2018 season were reported to CDC during week 40. This brings the total number of reported influenza-associated deaths occurring during that season to 183.
No influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported to CDC for the current 2018-2019 flu season. Additional information on influenza-associated pediatric deaths including basic demographics, underlying conditions, bacterial co-infections, and place of death for the current and past seasons, pediatric deaths is available on FluView Interactive at: https://gis.cdc.gov/GRASP/Fluview/PedFluDeath.html.
Nationally, the percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza viruses in clinical laboratories during the week ending October 6 was 0.9%. Regionally, the three week average percent of specimens testing positive for influenza in clinical laboratories ranged from 0.3% to 3.1%. During the week ending October 6, of the 107 (0.9%) influenza-positive tests reported to CDC by clinical laboratories, 75 (70.2%) were influenza A viruses and 32 (29.9%) were influenza B viruses. The most frequently identified influenza virus type reported by public health laboratories was influenza A virus.
During the week ending October 6, 19 (79.2%) of the 24 influenza-positive tests reported to CDC by public health laboratories were influenza A viruses and 5 (20.8%) were influenza B viruses. Of the 12 influenza A viruses that were subtyped, 3 (25.0%) were H3N2 viruses and 9 (75.0%) were a (H1N1)pdm09 viruses. The majority of the influenza viruses collected from the United States during May 20 through Oct. 6, 2018 were characterized antigenically and genetically as being similar to the cell-grown reference viruses representing the 2018–2019 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine viruses. None of the viruses tested from May 20-October 6, 2018 at were found to be resistant to oseltamivir, zanamivir, or peramivir. Antiviral resistance data will be updated weekly starting later in the season.