GREAT FALLS — The Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS) reports that 13 people have died in the state during the current flu season.
The most recent activity report from DPHHS for the current flu season provides the following information, current as of March 14:
- Influenza activity continued to increase during week 11 (of current flu season) with 869 new cases reported.
- Season to date: 10,739 cases; 462 hospitalizations, and 13 deaths due to influenza have been reported.
- The most common influenza subtype identified this week was influenza A H1N1 (2009). In the past few weeks, the proportion of influenza A positives has been increasing and now is higher than influenza B.
- During week 11, the proportion of healthcare provider and emergency room visits for influenza like illness (ILI) increased and remains above baseline.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says that so far this season, about 20,000 people have died of the flu, including 136 children.
The CDC's most recent flu report says that as of February 29, hospitalization rates among children aged 4 and under were the highest on record at this point in the season, surpassing rates reported during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. The 136 children's deaths also mark the highest on record since the 2009 pandemic.
In all, the CDC estimates about 34 million people have gotten the flu so far this season and 350,000 have been hospitalized.