A snapshot of influenza activity in all 50 states
Iowa: Flu problems are increasing in Iowa and are worse than in recent years. Some locations have run out of vaccine, partly because clinics ordered fewer doses because of recent mild flu seasons. Iowa doesn’t track flu deaths.
Kansas: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported one child flu death. Flu is widespread but vaccine supplies have mostly been adequate in Kansas.
Kentucky: Flu has been widespread in Kentucky for the past five weeks, which is earlier than usual. State authorities are not aware of any shortages and there have been no flu deaths in children.
Louisiana: High levels of flu-like illness are reported in Louisiana but no child deaths and so far emergency rooms have not had to turn away other patients to accommodate those with suspected flu. ‘‘This is going to be one of the very busy seasons,’’ said Louisiana’s state epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard.
Maine: Authorities say flu cases are increasing and reaching ‘‘epidemic proportions’’ with widespread illness throughout the state. Most hospitals are near capacity, and there have been some spot shortages of vaccine. Maine doesn’t tally flu deaths but one school-aged child has died — Maine’s first flu-related death in a healthy child in years.
Maryland: Flu cases are widespread and more numerous than expected in Maryland, but there are signs things may be stabilizing. Most patients are older than 65; no children’s deaths have been reported. Emergency departments at several hospitals in the Baltimore-Washington area were at or near capacity for intensive- and critical-care patients but it wasn’t clear to what extent flu was a factor.
Massachusetts: Massachusetts has reported a high level of flu activity, with 18 deaths, none in children. The city of Boston declared a public health emergency on Wednesday and is working with health care centers to offer free flu vaccines. Ahead of weekend church services, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston advised priests they may want to encourage parishioners to avoid drinking from communion chalices and skip handshakes when exchanging signs of peace during services until the flu emergency subsides.
Michigan: Health officials say the flu season is worse than previous ones, isn’t slowing down, but has not reached an emergency level yet. Four Michigan children have died from flu-related illness. The hardest-hit regions are in the southwest, central and southeastern parts of the state. Some pharmacies are running out of vaccine, but enough is available on order.
Minnesota: Flu season has hit hard in Minnesota and many residents have gotten vaccinated. Some clinics have run out of vaccine and had to wait a day or two to get new supplies, but there have no serious shortages. There have been 27 deaths, most in elderly patients.
Mississippi: High levels of flu-like illness have been reported in Mississippi but no child deaths and so far emergency rooms have not had to turn away other patients to accommodate those with suspected flu.
Missouri: Flu cases began in November in Missouri and authorities can’t tell if the season has peaked yet. Illness is widespread, and the state health department recommends that residents seeking flu shots should call ahead to make sure supplies are available. There have been no reported flu deaths in children.
Montana: This flu season is shaping up as Montana’s worst since 2009. Influenza is increasing with outbreaks occurring in at least half of the state. Increases are expected for at least another few weeks. There are no reported vaccine shortages. One elderly person has died from the flu.
Nebraska: One child and two adults have died from the flu in Nebraska, where cases are up this year compared with last year. There are some spot shortages of vaccines, but supplies are adequate in most places.
Nevada: Confirmed flu cases are up 57 percent in Nevada from two weeks ago and the increase is continuing. Authorities say it is too soon to tell whether this will be a severe season.
New Jersey: Hospital emergency room visits by patients with flu-like symptoms in New Jersey are double the number seen at this time last year. Two children have died, both with underlying medical conditions that made them more vulnerable. Flu activity is highest in central and northeast portions of New Jersey.
New York: The governor has declared a flu emergency. The order allows pharmacists give vaccines to anyone 6 months or older, suspending a state law that limits pharmacists to administering immunizing agents to those 18 or older. Flu has been reported in every county and has been widespread for seven weeks. Reported cases declined last week but hospitalizations for lab-confirmed flu were up. Two children and at least 10 New York City adults have died from flu-related illness. Statewide adult deaths aren’t tracked.Continued...