The Pennsylvania Department of Health monitors influenza activity throughout the year but ramps up surveillance activities in the fall and winter. The official influenza surveillance season starts with the 40th week of the year (typically around the beginning of October) and ends on the 20th week of the following year (in May). For the 2018-2019 season, the influenza surveillance season began on Oct. 1, 2018, and will run through May 19, 2019.
These case counts represent only a fraction of the actual burden of illness due to influenza occurring in the commonwealth at any given time. This is because most persons with influenza do not go to the doctor or are not tested or reported. Influenza spread and severity varies widely from season to season. It is estimated that five to 20 percent (600,000 to 2,400,000) of Pennsylvanians get the flu each year, and 120 to 2,000 die from complications of influenza.
Flu Activity Code: WIDESPREAD (week 52 ending 12/29/2018)
*The flu activity code is a characterization of the geographic spread of influenza in Pennsylvania. It does not indicate how severe the influenza season is. Rather, it indicates how much of Pennsylvania is experiencing influenza activity. The level of activity is classified based on CDC definitions below, which are used by all 50 states to characterize influenza activity.
The State Health Department reports flu activity has increased in all state regions. The highest activity was reported in the Northeast and Southeast regions. A total of 6435 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases have been reported season to date. Confirmed reports were received from 66 Counties out of the 67 Counties.