2004 - 2005 Texas Influenza Surveillance Information
The weekly flu activity level for CDC week 9 ending 3/5/05 is regional.
Reports were received for all eleven regions.
Flu activity has continued to decline this week.
None of the regions reported increased flu activity this week.
Three of the eleven regions reported about the same (high) level of flu activity as last week, representing East, Southeast, and South Central Texas (HSRs 4, 5, and 8).
The seven regions representing Central Texas (HSR 7), the panhandle (HSR 1), North Texas (HSRs 2/3), West Texas (HSRs 9/10), and South West Texas (HSR 11) reported decreasing flu activity. The region representing the Houston/Galveston coastal area was unable to determine a flu status from the data available (HSR 6).
(A map of Health Service Regions)
Data from the Sentinel Provider Surveillance Network (SPSN) indicates another week of declining ILI activity, although levels are still relatively high at nearly four times the baseline level. This is the second week of ILI decreases.
School absentee levels due to ILI are likewise decreasing, with another week of no reports of school closures.
No institutional/hospital outbreaks were reported.
Culture confirmed flu has been identified in all regions of the state, with declining specimen levels at the DSHS lab this week. Counties with culture confirmed flu include Dallas, Tarrant, Harris, Bexar, Wichita, Bell, Travis, Taylor, Smith, Potter, Wichita, and Lubbock.
The majority of culture confirmed flu remains A.
According to the CDC, the majority of the influenza virus strains circulating in the United States were well matched to this season's vaccine. However, 103 (45%) of the influenza A ( H3N2 ) viruses tested during the week ending February 12 are most closely related to a newly emerged strain of H3N2 that has been named A/California/7/2004. This strain of H3N2 has been selected for inclusion in the 2005-06 northern hemisphere vaccine.
For more information on this new strain of flu, please see the following link: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/.