While total flu activity this season has been high across the United States, this week’s flu activity declined slightly.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Week 7 Surveillance Report, the amount of specimens tested for flu has decreased by more than 2,000 - from 16,934 positive specimens last week to 14,657 positive specimens this week.
While 13 pediatric deaths occurred this week, data from the 2017-2018 flu season indicates that the exact same amount of deaths that occurred during week seven of flu season two years ago.
The report also notes the overall severity of the flu, as indicated by the total number of hospitalizations and deaths, are “not high at this point in the season”. The percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and flu are below the epidemic threshold of 7.3%, coming in at only 6.8% .
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) reports that 947 flu cases were reported during the reporting period ending of Feb. 15. Overall, 6,140 influenza cases so far this season are being reported by DPHHS, along with 270 hospitalizations in the Treasure State.
One flu-related death was reported during the reporting period ending on Feb. 15 with DPHHS also reporting there have been six flu-related deaths in Montana so far this season. Click here to view the latest on the flu in Montana. All counties in Montana have reported at least one case of influenza.
DPPHS notes that the best way to avoid getting the flu is by getting an influenza shot.
-information from Lindsie Hiatt included in this report