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Flu Update • Week 16 (ending April 22, 2023)

Local flu activity has remained minimal for the past few months. Read below for more.

Published May 4, 2023.

To help healthcare providers stay up to date and make testing and treatment decisions, we publish flu activity updates throughout the season. To receive flu updates by email, go to our our notifications page and sign up for Health Advisories/Disease Alerts for Providers. 

To determine flu activity level, we monitor emergency department and urgent care visits; hospitalizations; lab test results; and outbreaks and deaths healthcare providers report. 

Offer flu vaccine to everyone 6 months or older, until the vaccine expires. 

Check out this season’s testing and treatment guidelines

Pierce County

Flu activity remained minimal in Pierce County.

Urgent visits

  • This week, 1.3% of visits to emergency departments/urgent cares were for influenza-like illness (ILI).*

Hospitalizations

  • This week, 0.7% of admitted patients had ILI.

Deaths⁎⁎

  • No new deaths have been reported. So far this season, providers reported 35 deaths from flu, including 1 child.

Outbreaks

  • No long-term care facilities reported outbreaks this week. This season, 26 long-term care facilities reported ILI outbreaks. 

Lab data

  • This week, local labs† reported 490 flu tests. 17 tests (3%) were positive—1 for influenza A and 16 for influenza B.

Notes

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ILI case definition is fever and cough and/or sore throat in the absence of a known cause other than flu. Interpret ILI data with caution, as the COVID-19 pandemic affected healthcare-seeking behavior and other factors associated with respiratory syndrome monitoring.

⁎⁎Meets the case definition for flu-associated death: resulting directly or indirectly from a clinically compatible illness lab-confirmed to be flu. Flu deaths are likely under reported because providers might not list flu as a cause of death, order flu tests or notify the Health Department of the death.

 Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Systems and MultiCare Labs NW reported lab data.

Washington

Flu activity remained minimal. See Washington State Department of Health’s full report for details.

Urgent visits

  • This week, 1.3% of visits to ILI Network†† providers were for ILI, below the 1.8% baseline.

Deaths

  • So far this season, providers reported 261 deaths from flu, including 5 children.

Outbreaks

  • So far this season, 138 long-term care facilities reported an ILI outbreak.

Lab data

  • This week, WHO/NREVSS labs reported 0.6% of specimens tested positive for flu.

Notes

††ILI Network is part of CDC ILINet outpatient ILI surveillance network. ILINet includes more than 2,600 United States outpatient healthcare providers. They report to CDC total patients seen and patients with ILI each week. Washington is in Region 10, along with Alaska, Idaho and Oregon.

World Health Organization (WHO)/National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System.

United States

Seasonal flu activity remains low nationally. Nine of the 10 HHS regions were below their outpatient respiratory illness baselines. The number and weekly rate of flu hospital admissions in the FluSurv-NET remained low. 

Most tested influenza viruses are in the same genetic subclade as, and antigenically like, the viruses in this season’s vaccine. See CDC’s full report for details.

ILI activity

  • This week, 1.9% of visits to ILINet providers were for ILI, below the 2.5% baseline.
  • This week, 9 of 10 HHS regions were below their respective baselines. Region 9 was above baseline. 

Lab data

  • This week, clinical labs reported 0.8% of specimens tested positive. 

Mortality surveillance

  • This week, pneumonia, influenza and/or COVID-19 (PIC) caused 7.5% of deaths, above the 6.8% epidemic threshold for this week. Among the 1,705 PIC deaths reported for this week, preliminary data indicated 470 COVID-19 listed contributed to the cause of death on the death certificate, and 12 listed influenza.

Pediatric deaths

  • So far this season, providers reported 145 pediatric flu deaths.
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