CDC Flu Report: At Least 6.2 Million Sick This Season

To this point during the 2018-2019 flu season, 6.2 million to 7.3 million people have been sick with flu, and as many as half of those people have sought medical care for their illness.

New data released Jan. 11 by CDC indicates that to this point during the 2018-2019 flu season, 6.2 million to 7.3 million people have been sick with flu, and as many as half of those people have sought medical care for their illness.

This is the first time these estimates—which cover the period from Oct. 1, 2018 through Jan. 5, 2019—are being provided during the flu season. CDC has estimated the burden of flu since 2010.

The data are derived using the same mathematical model used to generate previous end-of-season estimates. Calculations are based on adjusted rates of laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated hospitalizations collected through a surveillance network that covers approximately 8.5 percent of the U.S. population, or about 27 million people. Based on this methodology, CDC estimates that as of Jan. 5:

  • 6.2 to 7.3 million people have been sick with flu
  • 2.9 to 3.5 million people have been to a doctor because of flu
  • 69,300 to 83,500 people have been hospitalized because of flu

These estimates are cumulative. They will be updated over the course of the annual flu season on Fridays, CDC reported.

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