Flu Rates Remain Low Overall
Every couple of weeks, we provide an update on the evolution of the flu season, highlighting areas that are either a current or looming threat with positive case rates. With infection control imperative to keeping schools/hospitality venues open, many of the best practices for preventing COVID-19 extend to flu prevention as well.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which provides updating information with their “Weekly U.S. Influenza Report” rates states on 6-tier scale: Very High, High, Moderate, Low, Minimal, and Insufficient data.
According to findings from week 41 (ending Oct. 16) zero states/jurisdictions were classified as “Very High” or "High”; the same as our most recent reporting 2 weeks ago. Two states/jurisdictions now classify as "Moderate": New Mexico and District of Columbia (D.C.) Earlier in October, just one state, Mississippi, fell under the "Moderate" category. Mississippi has since improved back down to "Minimal"
Just 5 states/jurisdictions classify as "Low" activity level: Wyoming, Missouri, Virginia, New Jersey and North Dakota. The remaining 48 fell into the "Minimal" category.
Overall, these case rates remaining overall promising, although historically the more severe months for influenza are yet to come. To keep the positive momentum, facility cleaning managers can continue to encourage flu vaccinations and best practices for hand hygiene. Studies have shown that the pandemic inspired better handwashing habits overall in the U.S.; habits that continue to be promising 19 months after many initial shutdowns of facilities. It will be interesting to see if better infection control efforts will help keep flu rates down during the peak months ahead.
Be sure to check back in for more CDC flu activity updates on a regular basis.