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Flu Update • Week 49 (ending Dec. 10, 2022)

Local flu activity is very high. Read below for more.

 
Published Dec. 20, 2022.

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 was very high, but we are starting to see a downward trend. Many schools reported higher than usual absenteeism caused by a range of flu-like symptoms.

Urgent visits

  • This week, 8.9% of visits to emergency departments/urgent cares were for influenza-like illness (ILI).*

Hospitalizations

  • This week, 6.6% of admitted patients had ILI.

Deaths⁎⁎

  • So far this season, providers reported 5 deaths from flu, including 4 adults and 1 child. 

Outbreaks

  • So far this season, 5 long-term care facilities reported ILI outbreaks. 

Lab data

  • This week, local labs† reported 3,575 flu tests. 1,136 (32.0%) tests were positive—1,108 for influenza A and 28 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 was very high. See Washington State Department of Health’s full report for details.

Urgent visits

  • This week, 10.7% of visits to ILI Network†† providers were for ILI, above the 1.8% baseline.

Deaths

  • So far this season, providers reported 40 deaths from flu, including 3 children and 37 adults. 

Outbreaks

  • So far this season, 61 long-term care facilities reported an ILI outbreak.

Lab data

  • This week, WHO/NREVSS labs reported 22.3% 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

Flu activity is high but appears to be declining in some areas. Multiple respiratory viruses are cocirculating. This week’s cumulative hospitalization rate in FluSurv-NET was higher than in week 49 of every previous flu season since 2010–2011.

Most tested influenza viruses are in the same genetic subclade as, and antigenically similar to, the viruses in this season’s vaccine. This season, of detected and subtyped influenza A viruses, 80% were A(H3N2) and 20% were A(H1N1). See CDC’s full report for details. 

ILI activity

  • This week, 6.9% of visits to ILINet providers were for ILI, above the 2.5% baseline. 
  • This week, 48 jurisdictions reported very high or high ILI activity. 3 reported moderate activity. All other jurisdictions reported low or minimal activity. 

Lab data

  • This week, clinical labs reported 25.4% of specimens tested positive. 

Mortality surveillance

  • This week, pneumonia, flu or COVID-19 caused 11.6% of deaths, above the 6.6% epidemic threshold for week 49. While COVID-19 caused most of the deaths, the proportion caused by flu is increasing. 

Pediatric deaths

  • This week, providers reported 9 pediatric flu deaths. So far this season, providers reported 30 pediatric flu deaths. 

Graph of Pierce County flu data. Call (253) 649-1412 for more information.

Graph of Pierce County flu data. Call (253) 649-1412 for more information.

Graph of Pierce County flu data. Call (253) 649-1412 for more information.

Graph of Pierce County flu data. Call (253) 649-1412 for more information.

 Graph of Pierce County flu data. Call (253) 649-1412 for more information.