In its weekly flu surveillance report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists several states with localized flu activity, and at least two with it being widespread.
For the week ending Nov. 18 — the most updated report — Oklahoma and Louisiana are labeled "widespread" on the influenza map. The CDC also reports:
- Regional influenza activity was reported by Guam and six states (Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and South Carolina).
- Local influenza activity was reported by 20 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin).
- Sporadic influenza activity was reported by the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 21 states (Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming).
- No influenza activity was reported by one state (West Virginia).
Louisiana health officials said in early November most of the positive influenza specimens are influenza A/H3.
"The most commonly reported other respiratory viruses are RSV and Rhino/Enterovirus," the report says.
Each year, seasonal flu affects 5-20 percent of the U.S. population. More than 36,000 deaths can be attributed to influenza-related illness annually.
People age 6 months and older are recommended by health officials to get the flu vaccine. Most strongly encouraged are children age 6 months to 4 years and those age 65 and older.