According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, influenza activity is increasing nationwide and is most elevated in the southern region of the country for the week ending December 29, 2012 (week 52). Influenza A H3N2 was the most commonly detected influenza subtype nationwide.
Mortality Rate Near Epidemic
Each week, the vital statistics offices of 122 cities across the United States report the total number of death certificates processed and the number of those for which pneumonia or influenza was listed as the underlying or contributing cause of death by age group.
Seven percent of all deaths reported through the 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System were due to pneumonia and influenza in week 52. This percentage was just .1% shy of what the CDC considers the epidemic threshold of 7.1% for that time of year.
State-by-State Flu Activity
Widespread influenza activity was reported by 41 states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming
Regional influenza activity was reported by 7 states (Arizona, California, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington).
The District of Columbia reported local influenza activity while Hawaii reported sporadic influenza activity. Guam reported no influenza activity. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Delaware did not report.
Flu Activity Across Florida
Currently, influenza and influenza-like illness activity is increasing in all regions of Florida, which the CDC says is normal for this time of year. Influenza A was the most common flu type in Florida this flu season. Of the tests that have been influenza positive, most have been positive for influenza A H3; the rest have been influenza B. These are both seasonal subtypes of influenza. The CDC says that this is a change from previous weeks, when influenza B was more common in Florida.
The CDC reports that the Florida Panhandle, Central Florida, and South Florida regions are showing higher than expected influenza-like illness activity in emergency room visits. Also, twenty counties across all regions of Florida reported moderate influenza activity for the week ending December 29, 2012 (week 52).
Because of the statewide reports of increasing influenza and influenza-like illness activity, the Florida Department of Health is reporting widespread influenza activity to the CDC for week 52. The classification of a widespread activity level refers to the geographic spread of influenza, not its severity or intensity.
Florida County-by-County Flu Activity
No Activity: Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hardee, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison, Putnam, Suwannee, Union
Mild: Alachua, Calhoun, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Dade, Desoto, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Holmes, Lee, Levy, Liberty, Manatee, Martin, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, St. Johns, Sumter, Taylor, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton
Moderate: Bay, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Glades, Hillsborough,
Indian River, Lake, Leon, Marion, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Seminole, St. Lucie, Washington
SOURCE and Infographs: CDC