12 States Report Widespread Increase in Flu Cases

CDC’s most recent FluView report says seasonal influenza activity continues to increase in the United States, and 12 states reported widespread flu activity during the first week of December.

The report adds that the proportion of people seeing their healthcare provider for influenza-like-illness increased sharply from the previous week and has been at or above the national baseline for three weeks so far this season.

The 12 states with widespread activity are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Four states experienced high flu activity (Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas), while five states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, and Kentucky) experienced moderate activity. New York City, Puerto Rico, and 16 states (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming) experienced low activity. Another 25 states experienced minimal activity.

Influenza A(H3N2) viruses were most commonly reported during the week ending Dec. 9, 2017, and this has been the predominant virus so far this season. According to the report, flu activity indicators are higher than is typically seen for this time of year.

According to the CDC, most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.