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Have you noticed more folks with flu symptoms over the holidays? Good reason! The flu season has kicked off & is trending up. R U ready?

December 26, 2010

As we end the year – what is happening with the seasonal flu?  It is out there and is trending up, especially in the south.

This map uses the proportion of outpatient visits to health care providers for influenza-like illness to measure the ILI activity level within a state. It does not, however, measure the extent of geographic spread of flu within a state. Therefore, outbreaks occurring in a single city could cause the state to display high activity levels.

The map above shows that during week 50, the following ILI activity levels were experienced:

  • Three states (Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi) experienced high ILI activity.
  • New York City and two states (Arizona and Nevada) experienced moderate ILI activity.
  • Two states (Louisiana and Oklahoma) experienced low ILI activity

Nationwide during week 50, 2.1% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) were due to influenza-like illness (ILI). This percentage is below the national baseline of 2.5%.

The map below shows that during week 50, the following influenza activity was reported in the United States:

  • Widespread influenza activity was reported by one state (Mississippi).
  • Regional influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and 13 states (Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia).
  • Local influenza activity was reported by seven states (Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee).

It is a good time to brush off and recommit to your hand washing skills, cough hygiene techniques and have hand sanitizer nearby for those times that you can’t wash your hands.  Flu shots are still available in most areas in the U.S. although they generally take several weeks to confer immunity.

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