The most recent weekly summary update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designated nine U.S. states and territories as having high or very high levels of activity related to influenza-like illness (ILI).
These states and territories include Alabama, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Puerto Rico and South Carolina. Louisiana is currently the only state or territory considered to have high ILI activity.
When the CDC monitors for ILI activity, it is looking for patient visits having to do with a fever plus a cough or sore throat and is not related to a confirmed flu diagnosis.
As the country approaches the worst of the flu season, respiratory viruses are increasingly on people’s minds.
A new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania found more than a third of people are concerned about either themselves or one of their family members contracting either the flu, COVID-19 or RSV.
Vaccine enthusiasm, however, appears to be low.
As of Nov. 4, about 35 percent of adults have gotten their flu shot, while about 30 percent say they will definitely not be getting the vaccine this year. CDC data also indicates flu vaccine coverage among children is about 4 percentage points lower than it was this same time last year at 32.6 percent.
Last year, the U.S. saw a “moderately severe” flu season though it was considered a “high severity influenza season” for children and adolescents when compared to previous years. A CDC study attributed this to an early start to the flu season last year coupled with the circulation of other respiratory viruses.