The flu season is intensifying, and already five states have reported rampant flu activity, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said recently.
In a Dec. 30 report, the CDC said that the end of December saw “influenza activity … increasing in the United States” and that “influenza-like-illness (ILI) increased nationally and now is higher than expected for this time of year.”
Five states—Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, New York, and Virginia—had “widespread geographic influenza activity” while 13 more (Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas) had isolated flu activity, the CDC stated.
Meanwhile, the percentage of nationwide outpatient hospital visits that were for ILI jumped to 2.7 percent, eclipsing the national baseline of 2.5 percent.
The CDC noted that during the flu season, instances of ILI are usually the highest this month.
“Although influenza activity can rise and fall during an influenza season, activity in the United States generally peaks in January or later,” the CDC said.
According to The Associated Press, more than 23,000 deaths occur every year in the United States due to influenza.