The 2012 Seasonal Influenza Page

Alright flu-fans! It’s the start of the 2012-13 influenza season, and we’re tracking its spread here at BIO230. As always, I’ll bring weekly updates direct from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s seasonal influenza page. The 2011-12 season was relatively mild. I got my flu shot early on, but probably would have gotten by just fine without it, as I didn’t know anyone who had flu last year.  I’ll get a shot again this year, because you never know!
Monitoring for this season actually started with the week ending October 6, 2012, and currently we’ve had 4 weeks of reporting to date. Many suspect cases are sent to the CDC for analysis, but currently only about 6% of those cases actually turn out to be clinically confirmed by laboratory analysis.  Sporadic influenza has been reported nationwide, with cases moving from “No activity” in the much of the United States, to some reports of “Localized” influenza or influenza-like illness in just a few states. As of the week ending October 27, 2012, the most consistent reportable influenza comes from Iowa, with 3 weeks running of this level of illness. Pennsylvania reports “Sporadic” influenza for 2 weeks straight. More details to follow!

  1. Update for week ending November 3, 2012! Maine has moved from “localized” to “regional” status, and 8 states with “localized” reports of influenza, including our neighbor New York. Most of the rest of the United States report at least “sporadic” disease, and only 8 states (NV, UT, ND, NE, AR, IL, VA, and VT reporting “no activity.”

  2. Update for week ending Nov. 10, 2012! Now have 4 states with “regional” influenza (Maine, Alabama, Texas, Alaska), and 5 states (NE, IL, VA, VT, NH) with “no activity”. That means 90% of the state health precincts reporting disease.

    For those following along and comparing with last year, this looks like it is about a month ahead of last year’s relatively mild influenza season.

  3. Update for week ending Nov. 17, 2012! Alaska has moved to DEFCON 5 with “widespread” influenza. Six states with “regional” influenza (ME, NY, OH, AL, MS, and CO), and 8 states with “localized” influenza. The remainder of the country with “sporadic”, and only 3 states (NE, WV, and VT) with “no activity.”

  4. Update for week ending Nov. 24, 2012! Now there are 4 states with “widespread” influenza (AK, MS, SC, NY), and 7 states with “regional” disease (ID, IA, MS, NC, OH, MA, ME). Eighteen states are at “localized” disease, for a total of roughly 60% of the country reporting this level or higher. Only Vermont remains with “no activity”.

  5. Update for week ending Dec. 1, 2012!! Up to 7 states with “widespread” influenza, including our neighbor to the west, Ohio, and our neighbor to the north, New York. Pennsylvania is one of 15 states with “regional” disease, and only 20% of the country is at the “sporadic” level. All 50 states are reporting activity currently.

  6. Update for week ending Dec. 8, 2012! Now 18 states (including Pennsylvania) with “widespread” influenza, and virtually all of the rest of the US east of the Rocky Mountains is at that level or “regional” influenza. Only California and Vermont continue to report disease at “sporadic” level.

  7. Update for week ending Dec. 15, 2012! The CDC reports that all states east of the Mississippi (except Michigan, Tennessee, Vermont, and Georgia) are reporting “widespread” influenza, with a total of 30 states at that level plus another 12 states reporting at the second highest, or “regional” disease. Again, California and Vermont are the only states reporting “sporadic” influenza.

  8. Update for week ending Dec. 22, 2012! Three states with “localized” influenza (DE, VT, OR) and only California reporting “sporadic” disease. Fourteen states at “regional” and the rest (22) at “widespread” disease.

  9. Update for week ending Dec. 29, 2012! Widespread influenza reports in all states except 7: Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Arizona, S. Dakota, and Missouri are one step down at “regional” influenza. Hope you got your shot!

  10. Update for week ending Jan. 5, 2013! “Widespread” influenza in all 50 states, except for California and Alabama which are stuck at “regional” disease.

    Oh, I forgot about Hawaii: it looks OK to go there (merely at “sporadic” disease!), but if we are start traveling there en masse, it will ramp up in prevalence pretty quickly.

  11. Update for week ending Jan. 12, 2013! California and Alabama have gone “widespread” this week, however things have eased up just a bit for Tennessee.

  12. Update for week ending Feb. 2, 2013! Things are much improved on the big board in the past two weeks, with several states in the deep South (TX, LA, MS, AL, TN, NC, SC, and GA,) along with Minnesota and Nebraska dropping down from “widespread” to “regional” status. We will continue to monitor!

  13. Update for week ending Feb. 16, 2013! Influenza activity reports continue to diminish. Twenty-one states remain with “widespread” influenza activity, with no particular geographic distribution. A similar number are at the next lower level of “regional” flu, and 4 states in the deep South (MS, AL, GA, NC) have now dropped to “localized” status.

  14. Update for week ending Feb. 23, 2012! Down to 12 states (including Pennsylvania) at the highest, or “widespread” reports of influenza. Much of the country is at the next lower level, or “regional” disease reports. Alabama has dropped from “localized” to “sporadic” reports of flu.

  15. Update for week ending March 16, 2013! Influenza reports continue to wind down for the 2012-13 season, with only 7 states reporting “widespread” disease, but most of the country reporting “localized” disease. Several states (CO, KS, ND, IN, FL, VT, ME) all report only “sporadic” disease.

  16. Still waiting for a (guest) post about H7N9…talk about an easy bonus…practically giving points away.

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