OKLAHOMA – The number of states reporting widespread seasonal flu activity jumped from 10 to 25 last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.
Widespread activity was reported in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington state and Wyoming, according to the CDC’s weekly flu advisory report, covering the week ending December 28.
“Widespread” means that more than 50% of geographic regions in a state — counties, for example — are reporting flu activity. It addresses the spread of the flu, not its severity.
However, 20 states experienced a high proportion of outpatient visits to health care providers for flu-like illnesses. The most severe activity seems to be located in the Southeastern states.
The season usually begins in the winter months and peaks in January or February.