Friday, March 20, 2020

CDC: Seasonal Flu Activity Slowing

by Calculated Risk on 3/20/2020 11:25:00 AM

Seasonal flu activity is slowing, and that will help with the rapidly increasing COVID-19 pandemic.

From the CDC: Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

Laboratory confirmed flu activity as reported by clinical laboratories continued to decrease; however, influenza-like illness activity increased. Influenza severity indicators remain moderate to low overall, but hospitalization rates differ by age group, with high rates among children and young adults.

Nationally, the percent of specimens testing positive for influenza at clinical laboratories continued to decrease while ILI activity increased for the second week in a row after declining for three weeks. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more people may be seeking care for respiratory illness than usual at this time.
Note that ILI (influenza-like illness) activity is increasing due to COVID-19.

Flu ActivityClick on graph for larger image.

This graph from the CDC shows the number of positive specimens, and the percent of tests positive.

Social distancing will help lower flu activity too.  And fewer patients with the flu is a positive for healthcare workers.