Influenza in the US

Sick woman sneezing at airport

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s latest weekly US Influenza Surveillance Report, influenza activity is continuing to increase in the US, with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, influenza A(H3N2) and influenza B viruses continuing to co-circulate.

The Report states that, in the week ending 2 February, the proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) increased to 4.3 per cent, which is above the national baseline of 2.2 per cent. In addition, the geographic spread of influenza in Puerto Rico and 47 states was reported as widespread, two states reported regional activity, the District of Columbia and one state reported local activity, the US Virgin Islands reported sporadic activity and Guam did not report.

Regarding hospitalisation, the report states that a cumulative rate of 20.1 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalisations per 100,000 population was reported, with the highest hospitalisation rate among adults aged 65 and older. The report also says that four influenza-associated paediatric deaths were reported to the CDC during this week.

The CDC’s recommendations for travellers are for everyone aged six months and older to get a yearly vaccine, ideally in the autumn before the US flu season begins. It also recommends that people sick with symptoms of influenza-like illness such as sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache and fatigue should not travel.