2004 - 2005 Texas Influenza Surveillance Information
The weekly flu activity level for CDC week 7 ending 2/19//05 remains widespread.
Reports were received for all 11 Health Service Regions (HSRs).
Seven of the regions report increased flu activity this week, with the regions representing East Texas (HSR 4/5N) and the North Texas (HSRs 2/3) reporting about the same (high) level of activity as last week. The Central Texas region (HSR 7) was unable to discern a trend from the data available at the time.
(A map of Health Service Regions)
Data from the Sentinel Provider Surveillance Network (SPSN) indicate a higher level of Influenza-like illness (ILI) activity than last week, with levels over six times the baseline level. This is the fifth consecutive week of ILI increases.
Schools around the state have continued to report increased absences due to ILI, and a few schools in North and East Texas have chosen to close their schools for a day or two during peak absence levels.
Culture confirmed flu has been identified in all regions of the state, with high specimen levels again this week.
Counties with culture confirmed flu include Dallas, Tarrant, Harris, Bexar, Wichita, Bell, Travis, El Paso, Potter, Wichita, and Lubbock.
The majority of culture confirmed flu remains A. Flu B activity seems to be centered in central Texas near the I-35 corridor between Waco and San Antonio.
A new strain of flu has been identified in California (dubbed A/California). This strain, while still H3N2, is different enough that the vaccine may not provide protection against it.
However, there still have been no reports of this strain in our state.
There remains a good match between circulating flu strains and vaccine strains in Texas.