The 2018–2019 flu season isn’t over in the United States but already has set a record, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in its weekly flu report.
Data through April 13 indicate that levels of flu-like illness have been elevated for 21 weeks, one week longer than the previous 10-year high seen during the 2014–2015 season.
“While flu activity continues to decrease, it remains elevated and relatively high for this time of year,” the CDC said. Eleven states (Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia) reported widespread influenza activity in the week ending April 13, although nationally and regionally, the season appears to have peaked, the agency said.
The CDC classified the flu season overall as “moderate” in severity.
As many as 610,000 people had been hospitalized with the flu so far this season (since Oct. 1) as of April 13. Just in the week ended April 13, the hospitalization rate for people aged 65 years and older — the age group with the highest hospitalization rate — was 206.5 per 100,000 (compared with 428.9 last season, 268.4 in 2016–2017 and 305.6 during the 2014–2015 flu season).
As many as 57,300 people have died from the flu this season through April 13, the CDC said. There have been as many as 41.3 million illnesses and 19.4 million medical visits related to the flu this season.