The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) writes that influenza activity is declining nationally, but remains high in parts of the country and may continue for some time. The current flu season has been severe for people 65 and older with key indicators showing many hospitalizations and deaths have occured in that age group. The CDC has recommended that high risk persons, which includes seniors, should seek care as soon as possible for flu symptoms because antiviral treatment can avert serious flu outcomes. Today, Feb. 15, 2013, Todd Neale has reported for MedPage Today, Flu Activity Dropping Off.
According to the most recent CDC numbers, signs continue to point to a tapering of influenza activity across the United States. The proportion of outpatient visits which can be attributed to flu-like illness was 3.2 percent in the week ending Feb. 9, which is lower than a week and 2 weeks prior (3.6 percent and 4.2% percent, respectively). However, this figure has remained above the national baseline of 2.2 percent.
The number of states which have high flu-like illness activity has dropped from 19 to 11, and the number with widespread geographic activity has fallen from 38 to 31. New York City has continued to report high levels of flu-like illness activity. However, although activity is declining across the U.S., the effects of what has been described as a moderately severe flu season continue to be seen. The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia or influenza, seen at 9.1 percent, has remained above the epidemic threshold of 7.5 percent for the week. This was slightly higher than it was the week before at 9 percent, but lower than it was a week before that at 9.4 percent.