Week 51 report includes pediatric death, 3 samples described as unsubtypable, spike in hospitalizations (9) and % positive (47%), and above baseline doctor visitshttp://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/se ... 490&mode=2
Influenza (flu) activity was Regional during week 51 — increase in influenza-like illness (ILI) and lab confirmed influenza in at least two regions of the state.
3.5% of all outpatient Visits to doctors reported by sentinel physicians were for flu-like illnesses (IILI), more than double what was reported the previous week and, for the first time season, this is above the state baseline (2.4%).
Emergency Department (ED) visits for flu were elevated in the NE and SE regions of the state.
174 flu cases were reported; more than double what was reported the previous week. Most of the recent flu cases were reported in the NE and SE regions of the state.
Influenza type A continues to be the most reported type of flu accounting for 90% of flu viruses reported during week 51, flu type B accounted to 18(10%) of flu reported.
Influenza was detected in 38 (47%) of respiratory specimens submitted for confirmatory testing at the state lab, a threefold increase from 14% reported the previous week.
Influenza A/H3N2 continues to be the dominant strain, though flu type B is also on the increase. Of the 36 flu viruses subtyped at the state lab during week 51, 28 (78%) were seasonal A/H3N2, 3(8%) were unsutypeable, 3 (8%)flu type B and 2 (6%) the 2009 A/H1N1.
Nine flu hospitalizations were reported, up from 3 reported the previous week. Three of the recent hospitalizations were in children under 18 years of age. Most of the children who are hospitalized with influenza are over 6 months old, an age group for which the 2011 flu vaccine is indicated.
One flu death in a child was reported during week 51. This is the pediatric first flu death in Pennsylvania this season. Four other flu deaths have been reported in adults.
The recent pediatric flu death reminds us that influenza can cause severe illness and death in children. Flu vaccines are very effective at preventing influenza in children. There is still time to get a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is good for anyone above 6 months of age and older. For information on influenza vaccination go to, www.flufreepa.com