December 10, 2019
The influenza season has started earlier in 2019 than it has in 15 years, with a significant prevalence of illness in the South. The increased activity is being driven mostly by the influenza B/Victoria viruses, which normally appear later in the season.
“Activity is being caused mostly by influenza B/Victoria viruses, which is unusual for this time of year. H1N1 viruses are the next most common, followed by H3N2 viruses, which are decreasing in proportion,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote.
The 2003-2004 season, the last to begin this early, was a particularly severe season. However, it is currently unclear whether the early start this year will lead to another bad season or whether it is still too early to tell.
At this time, an estimated 1.7 million individuals have been infected, including 16,000 hospitalizations and 900 flu-related deaths, 6 of whom were children. Twelve states are experiencing high activity (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington) and 14 states are experiencing moderate activity (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia).
Influenza activity is classified as widespread in 16 states (Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia).
Weekly US Influenza Surveillance Report (FluView). CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm. Updated December 6, 2019. Accessed December 9, 2019.