Flu season officially ended at the beginning of April 2019, what we learned.
For six months beginning October 2018, there were over 18 million flu-related outpatient medical visits in the United States and Puerto Rico. This winter’s flu was not as deadly as last season, which could be credited to more awareness, vaccinations, and preparations. Here are five things to know about what we learned from winter’s nastiest bug.
- Influenza A was the most common.
According to the CDC, Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses predominated from October to mid-February, and influenza A(H3N2) viruses have been more commonly identified since late February. Small numbers of influenza B viruses also have been reported.
- CDC estimates there were 54,800 flu deaths.
The flu bug was not as deadly as the 2017/2018 season that was estimated to kill over 80,000 people. The 2017/2018 season was one of the deadliest in over 40 years.
- Over 40 million flu-related illnesses reported.
The CDC estimates there were 36-41.3 million flu-related illnesses and 16.7 – 19.4 medical visits related to the flu.
- Twenty-one states reported the highest level of flu activity ever.
The highest possible level of flu activity was reported in Rhode Island, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, and Alaska.
- The Flu is still making the rounds
There are even reports of the flu virus across the nation currently. Doctors have seen an increase in influenza A(H3N2), but the season is 90 percent believed to have peaked nationally.
The flu is often most prevalent from October to February and typically begins to see a decrease in reported cases starting in March. The CDC estimates flu caused up to 585,000 hospitalizations between Oct. 1, 2018, and April 6. The flu season should be over by early May 2019.
To learn more about the flu or follow the CDC’s weekly updates, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm