CDC Says Flu in CA Has Reached "Widespread Level"
L.A. County Dept. of Health Services Says Flu Is At High Levels Throughout County, Now Affecting Broader Range of Population Beyond Pediatric Cases
(Dec. 18, 2003) -- On the evening of Dec. 18, the Centers for Disease Control released data indicating influenza has now reached "widespread" levels in CA for the most recent monitoring period Dec. 7-13.
CDC defines "widespread" (the red areas on the map below) as "outbreaks of influenza or increases in ILI [influenza-like illness] cases and recent laboratory-confirmed influenza in at least half the regions of the state." A week earlier, CA reported only "regional" flu outbreaks.
Meanwhile, on Dec. 16 L.A. County's Dept. of Health Services posted an announcement dated its web site stating in pertinent part:
"Influenza activity is occurring at high levels throughout the county and is now affecting a broader range of the local population. The number of confirmed influenza cases in LA County has recently increased and continues to climb. While initial cases were primarily among children, illness is now extending beyond pediatric cases and into the population at large. In addition, many schools have reported high levels of absenteeism and influenza-like illness among their students."
L.A. County added, "Currently, influenza activity in LAC [L.A. County] has increased and is affecting a range of ages and areas across the county," and adds, "one pediatric death with concurrent influenza infection was identified. The child’s family are not residents of LA County and the cause of death is still undetermined."
CDC said that across the country from December 7-13, influenza activity continued to increase with 1,365 (35.8%) of 3,814 speciments collected nationally testing positive for influenza. Of these, 262 were influenza A(H3N2) viruses [the type in the flu vaccine] while 1,080 were influenza A viruses that were not subtyped, and 23 were influenza B viruses.
CDC added that the "proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was 7.2%, which is below the epidemic threshold for the week.
For further details and updates:
CDC flu update, week ending Dec. 13.
CDC Recommendations for Influenza Prevention