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January 2, 2020

The 2019-2020 flu season so far, charted

Daily Briefing

    Between 4.6 million and 6.6 million people had been stricken with the flu as of Dec. 21, 2019, according to the latest CDC data.

    Q&A: How to achieve universal employee flu vaccination

    Flu activity so far

    According to Friday's Weekly Influenza Surveillance report from CDC, 39 states were experiencing widespread flu activity in the week ending on Dec. 21, 2019, while the U.S. Virgin Islands were experiencing sporadic flu activity.

    Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., and 11 states were experiencing local or regional flu activity:

    CDC said the rate of hospitalizations for flu-related illness during the week ending Dec. 21, 2019, was "similar to what has been seen at this time during recent flu seasons." CDC's data shows that during the week of Dec. 21, 2019, the cumulative hospitalization rate for the flu so far this season increased to 6.6 per 100,000 people compared with 5.6 per 100,000 at the same point last season:

    According to CDC, this year's flu season has led to at least 2.2 million medical visits and 39,000 hospitalizations. The data also shows that between 2,100 and 5,200 flu-related deaths occurred from Oct. 1, 2019, to Dec. 21, 2019. The agency said 22 pediatric deaths have been reported this flu season, including three during the week ending in Dec. 21, 2019.

    In addition, CDC said that the percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness increased to 5.1% in the week ending Dec. 21, 2019, above the national baseline of 2.4%. According to CDC, outpatient visits for influenza-like illness have been at or above the baseline for seven weeks (CDC Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, 12/27/19; CDC "Flu View," accessed 12/30/19; CDC report, accessed 12/30/19; AP/NBC News, 12/7/19).

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