64 flu-related child deaths so far this season — CDC

Flu Season Peaked But A New Influenza Strain Takes The Lead

Flu Season Peaked But A New Influenza Strain Takes The Lead

H3N2 viruses account for about two-thirds of influenza A viruses tested this past week, according to the CDC.

The flu was reported to be widespread in IN and 47 other states last week.

"H3N2, in general, produces more severe disease", he said.

However, not all flu-related deaths are detected or reported, so the CDC believes the actual number of deaths to be higher. But data released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) late last week revealed that 32 states reported high levels of flu activity, with 21 of those saying their levels were higher than they've ever been before.

Four of the eight deaths reported to the CDC during week nine were associated with an influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 virus, the predominate virus in most of the country this year, and occurred during weeks seven, eight and nine - the weeks ending February 16 and 23 and March 2, respectively.

Rates of hospitalization for influenza and pneumonia climbed above the established national threshold for the sixth time this season during week 8, and the proportion to all visits of people seeing a health care provider for influenza-like illness - some 4.7 percent - decreased slightly but remained above the national baseline of 2.2 percent at the end of week nine.

There have been between 18,900 and 31,200 deaths.

The CDC also recorded about 37 hospitalizations per every 100,000 people during the week ending March 2.

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.

Flu activity remains high across the nation, and there's a second wave of severe infections striking some states. The previous week, more than 54 percent of flu cases reported were caused by H3N2.

There's a strong chance this flu season has peaked, but health officials are watching a recent wave of illnesses from a nastier flu strain. So, if you received the flu shot, it has a 62 percent chance of protecting you against the H1N1 strain, compared to just 44 percent against this surging H3N2 virus, according to the CDC.