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Update: Influenza Activity - United States, September 30, 2018-February 2, 2019.

Abstract

in the United States was low during October and November, increased in late December, and remained elevated through early February. As of February 2, 2019, this has been a low-severity influenza season (1), with a lower percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI), lower rates of hospitalization, and fewer deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza, compared with recent seasons. Influenza-associated hospitalization rates among children are similar to those observed in influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 predominant seasons; 28 influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurring during the 2018-19 season have been reported to CDC. Whereas influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses predominated in most areas of the country, influenza A(H3N2) viruses have predominated in the southeastern United States, and in recent weeks accounted for a growing proportion of influenza viruses detected in several other regions. Small numbers of influenza B viruses (<3% of all influenza-positive tests performed by public health laboratories) also were reported. The majority of the influenza viruses characterized antigenically are similar to the cell culture-propagated reference viruses representing the 2018-19 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccine viruses. Health care providers should continue to offer and encourage vaccination to all unvaccinated persons aged ≥6 months as long as influenza viruses are circulating. Finally, regardless of vaccination status, it is important that persons with confirmed or suspected influenza who have severe, complicated, or progressive illness; who require hospitalization; or who are at high risk for influenza complications be treated with antiviral medications.

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