The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Weekly US Influenza Surveillance Report published on 9 February 2024 noted continually elevated levels of seasonal flu in the US, with some regions experiencing an increase in cases.

In all ten regions of the US defined by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), flu activity remains above the baseline.

Increased activity has been recorded in HHS Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) and Region 7 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska).

In addition, outpatient influenza-like illness activity has been reported as ‘very high’ in Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, Arkansas, South Carolina, and New York City.

To kerb this activity, the CDC recommends annual flu vaccines and appropriate antivirals.

Viral characterisation of 21,004 specimens by public health laboratories reports that 82.4% of specimens are influenza A and 17.6% are influenza B. Of the influenza A specimens, 78.6% are subtype H1N1 and 21.4% are subtype H3N2.

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The proportion of influenza B has been increasing in HHS Regions 5 and 7.

Notably, only influenza A viruses have been responsible for pandemics, and the CDC notes that the overall increase in flu burden may be due to this increased influenza B activity.

Both hospitalisations and the hospitalisation rate attributed to influenza have been recorded as the third highest since the 2010-11 season.

According to the Influenza Surveillance Report, there have been 15,743 hospitalisations attributed to flu since 1 October 2023.

This results in a rate of 51.5 hospitalisations per 100,000 population in the 2023-24 season.

The majority of hospitalised cases (88.0%) were diagnosed with influenza A, and 11.1% of cases were diagnosed with influenza B.

Approximately 4% of cases were coinfected with SARS-CoV-2.

Clinical laboratories have confirmed 191,459 specimens positive for influenza since 1 October 2023.

This number is likely an underestimation due to underreporting to the CDC and untested positive cases.

GlobalData (a leading data and analytics company) epidemiologists predict more than 470,000 cases of lab-confirmed influenza in the US in 2024.

However, this figure can be affected by behavioural measures such as hand washing, use of personal protective equipment, and seeking medical care.

GlobalData epidemiologists predict a vaccination rate of 47% in the US in 2024, a measure that can be increased and would reduce the burden of influenza cases and hospitalisations in future seasons.