December 22, 2014|Categories: Analytics and Research
Pediatric ILI rates have actually now surpassed the 2012-2013 peak, running at 10.4% of all visits to pediatricians (See Figure 1; ILI rates reflect the percent of all visits to physicians with a diagnosis of ILI). Regionally, the highest ILI rates are evident in the South and Midwest (shown in Figure 2) with pediatric rates in the Midwest now running at 11.3% of all visits, well above the peak levels seen in 2012-2013 — and showing no signs of abating. Although flu rates in the Northeast and the West are lower, they too are on an upward trajectory. The CDC has noted that about half the samples of this year’s predominant H3N2 virus have shown signs of antigenic drift, suggesting lower vaccine effectiveness this season, and thus a higher ILI rate. We will continue to report out on the flu at the start of each week. In addition, please look for a post later this week on how the CDC’s recommendations for prescribing antiviral therapy may be influencing physician practice patterns. And it’s still not too late to get a flu shot! Make it a New Year’s resolution.
athenaResearch analyst Stewart Richardson generated the analysis for this report.