Seasonal flu activity remains high in the United States, but continues to slow in most parts of the country, according to data published Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hospital admissions for flu decreased for the second week in a row last week. There were about 21,000 new hospitalizations for the week ending December 17. That’s down from a season high of more than 26,000 new admissions two weeks earlier, which was the week following Thanksgiving.
Despite these improvements, respiratory virus activity remains “high” or “very high” in nearly every state. And experts warn that things may tick up again as holiday travel and gatherings continue.
The CDC estimates that there have been at least 18 million illnesses, 190,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths from flu so far this season.
The cumulative hospitalization rate is more than six times higher than it has been at this point in the season in more than a decade.