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ATLANTA — If the flu were a storm cloud, the influenza virus is hovering over America's Bread Basket on its way to the Southwest, according to data provided through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported that 4.3% of patient visits reported through ILINet were due to influenza-like illness, above the national baseline of 2.2%. But as the map indicates, influenza rates are declining up and down the East Coast and is most virulent in Texas and states west.
The most hospitalized group affected by this year's influenza strains are seniors, who account for 50% of reported cases. Among all hospitalizations,87.3% were associated with influenza A 11.9% with influenza B.
For the week ended Jan. 19, 26 states and New York City experienced high ILI activity, down from 30 a week ago. A total of 14 states experienced moderate ILI activity, and nine states experienced low ILI activity. Maine experienced minimal ILI activity.