CDC: Flu activity very high in MS

Published 8:00 am Saturday, November 26, 2022

Flu activity is very high in Mississippi, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC data uses the proportion of outpatient visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like illness to measure the activity level. It does not, however, measure the extent of geographic spread of the flu within a state. Therefore, outbreaks in a single city could cause the state to display high activity levels.

Influenza-like illness is characterized by a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and a cough or sore throat. Providers are supplied with specimen collection kits, and submit samples to the Mississippi Public Health Laboratory for testing.

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The most recent data available from the Mississippi State Department of Health is for week 45, Nov. 6-12. Lincoln County is in District VII, which reported 9.6 percent of flu. For the total number of patients seen by reporting providers, 9.6 percent tested positive for the influenza virus. This is down from 14.7 percent in the area for the prior week. District VII encompasses nine counties in Southwest Mississippi.

Statewide, 15,446 patients were seen during the week by 100 providers. Of these, 1,259 had flu-like symptoms, or 8.2 percent of the total.

Overall, the percentage of reported cases of the flu has been highest among those age 5 to 24. Compared to previous weeks, flu activity decreased in people aged 25-49 and increased in other age groups.