Flu activity decreased, but still widespread in U.S.: CDC

2018-03-05 01:47:44 GMT2018-03-05 09:47:44(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LOS ANGELES, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Although flu activity eased a bit in the United States, overall influenza-associated illness remains high across most of the country, according to the latest U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly surveillance report.

"Although flu activity has peaked, and declined significantly for second consecutive week, there are still several weeks of elevated flu activity to come," Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's acting director, tweeted on Friday.

Five percent of all outpatient doctor's visits last week were due to flu-like symptoms, down from 6.4 percent the previous week.

However, flu activity remains high across much of the United States. Latest CDC FluView report shows 45 states and Puerto Rico continue to report widespread flu activity.

Influenza is still claiming lives. The CDC reported 17 flu deaths among children last week, bringing the total pediatric deaths to 114. Adult deaths from the flu are not tracked directly.

"We have definitely peaked," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said, quickly adding, "that doesn't mean we aren't going to see more flu activity."

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk of serious flu complications.

For that reason, CDC officials are still recommending that unvaccinated people get the flu shot before season's end. If you already got the shot, however, it's not necessary to get it a second time.