Flu Hospitalization Rate Highest in Over a Decade for This Time of Year: CDC

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. on Sept. 30, 2014. (Tami Chappell/Reuters)

The Epoch Times

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted on Friday that its latest data show that the hospitalization rate for influenza is the highest in over a decade for this time of the year.

The cumulative hospitalization rate is “higher than the rate observed in week 45 during every previous season since 2010-2011,” according to the CDC in its updated Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report on Nov. 18.

It comes amid the spread of other respiratory viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The overall cumulative hospitalization rate per 100,000 population was 8.1, according to the data from the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET) system, one of the CDC’s sources for important data on hospitalization rates associated with flu.  The rate is higher than that observed in week 45 during previous seasons dating back to 2010-2011, which ranged from 0.1 to 0.9, the CDC stated.

“The highest hospitalization rates per 100,000 population [in 2022] were among adults aged ≥ 65 years (18.6), followed by children aged 0-4 years (13.6), adults aged 50-64 (8.0), children aged 5-17 years (7.3), and adults aged 18-49 years (4.2),” according to the agency.

It adds that “Cumulative hospitalization rates [in 2022] for each age group were higher than cumulative in-season hospitalization rates previously observed during week 45; since 2010-11 in-season rates ranged from 0 to 1.6 among children 0-4 years, 0 to 0.5 among children 5-17 years, 0 to 0.4 among adults 18-49 years, 0.1 to 0.9 among adults 50-64 years, and 0.3 to 2.7 among adults ≥ 65 years.”

Lynnette Brammer, a CDC team leader for domestic influenza surveillance, said on Nov. 4 at a media briefing, per NBC News: “Right now, we’re not seeing anything that would lead us to believe that it is more severe. It’s just early right now.”

The CDC says seasonal influenza activity is elevated across the country, with the southeast and south-central areas reporting the highest levels of flu activity. It estimates that there have been at least 4.4 million illnesses, 38,000 hospitalizations, and 2,100 deaths attributable to the flu so far this season.

“The majority of influenza viruses detected this season have been influenza A(H3N2) viruses, but the proportion of subtyped influenza A viruses that are A(H1N1) is increasing slightly,” the agency stated.

“Two more influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported this week, for a total of seven pediatric flu deaths reported so far this season.”