By Alyssa Lafage | The Save Jersey Blog
The CDC has released a report showing that thirty-six states, including New Jersey, have seen widespread influenza activity and just this week the CDC declared a national flu epidemic in the United States. The country has hit an epidemic level due to a 5.5% increase in the number of people seeing their doctors for flu-like illnesses for the fifth consecutive week. This is above the national baseline of 2%.
The latest CDC data also shows that a mutated strain of the H3N2 virus has hospitalized 2,500 people nationwide since the start of the flu season which began on October 1. Here is some additional information being reported via the CDC concerning the flu epidemic:
- 2,643 cases of laboratory-confirmed flu hospitalizations have been reported thru the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network since the official start of flu season.
- The hospitalization rate for people 65 years and older is the highest rate of any age group.
- The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza increased again this week and was at the epidemic threshold of 6.8%.
- The CDC has identified 305 flu viruses in the United States since October 1, 2014. This includes ten influenza A (H1N1) pdm09, 239 influenza A (H3N2) viruses and 56 influenza B viruses.
- Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont experienced minimal flu activity.
- The lowest flu activity in the country is taking place in California and Hawaii.
At a news conference earlier this month, Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, ominously said that despite not being able to predict the future impact of this years flu, “it’s possible we may have a season that’s more severe than most.”