Updated information from the Centers for Disease Control were released. For the first time ever, the CDC is giving in-season flu estimates. Normally, this information is not released until the season is over.

Flu Update: Through Jan. 5, 2019

The CDC estimates the following numbers for the flu season (Oct. 1, 2018 – Jan. 5, 2019):

  • 6.2 million to 7.3 million with the flu
  • 2.9 million to 3.5 million who have seen a medical provider with the flu
  • 69,300 to 83,500 who have been hospitalized with the flu

The estimates are based on preliminary modeling done by the CDC, based on laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations, reported through the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET).  There is no national tracking of flu cases. There is a voluntary surveillance network of approximately 8.5% of the U.S. which includes outpatient clinics, hospitals and labs. These are estimates which can and will change throughout the season week by week.

Overall, the season, as compared to last year, appears to be better with less flu-related hospitalizations and pediatric deaths. The vaccine also appears to be covering the most dominant strains of flu. There is moderate or high levels of flu in 27 U.S. states.

Want to know if you have a cold or the flu? This linked questionnaire from the CDC should help!

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