Already Mild Flu Season Slowing Down
Three new influenza cases were confirmed via positive lab cultures in the past two weeks, compared to seven in the previous two-week reporting period, indicating that an already relatively mild flu season is beginning to wind down.
The total number of lab-confirmed cases for the season now stands at 25, compared to 183 reported by late March last year.
Thirteen "suspected" cases were identified in the past two weeks through positive rapid antigen tests, compared to 26 in the previous two-week reporting period, another indication of decreasing flu activity. The number of suspected cases this season is 104, compared to 221 by late March last year. These cases don't meet the state's case definition for confirmed influenza, which requires a positive lab culture. Suspected cases aren't included in the tally of confirmed influenza, but are monitored as an indicator of possible influenza activity.
Many people who get sick do not seek treatment or may not be tested. Thus, not all flu cases are identified or confirmed through testing. This means it's possible others may have an illness caused by the flu virus but are not reported. For every confirmed case, hundreds of others may go uncounted.
Supplies of flu vaccine are still available and protect against three strains of influenza virus circulating this season -- Type A/New Caledonia, Type A/Wisconsin and Type B/Malaysia.
The flu vaccine is strongly recommended for certain high-risk groups: children from 6 months to five years of age; pregnant women; people 50 years of age and older; people 5 to 49 years of age with chronic medical conditions; people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than six months of age; household contacts of persons in the priority groups; and health care workers.