Seniors hit hardest in continuing increase of flu activity

According to the CDC's latest FluView report, influenza activity in the United States remains high and indicators of severity are rising.

A high proportion of influenza-associated hospitalizations and deaths were reported this week in people 65 years of age and older. Influenza-associated hospitalization rates were at their highest among people 65 and older, with 49.6 percent of the 5,249 influenza-associated hospitalizations reported for those over the age of 65.

The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza remained above the epidemic threshold for the second consecutive week, the CDC reports.

The proportion of people seeing their healthcare provider for influenza-like illnesses decreased from 4.8 percent in the previous week to 4.6 percent for the week ending January 12. This number, however, is still above the national baseline.

High influenza-like illness activity is being reported in 30 states and New York City, up from 24 states the previous week. Ten additional states reported moderate levels if influenza-like activity.

A total of 48 states reported widespread geographic influenza activity for the week ending January 12, up from 47 states in the previous week.

Since October 1, 5,249 laboratory confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported, which is an increase of 1,539 hospitalizations from the previous week. That number translates to a rate of 18.8 influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the U.S.