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U.S. Agency Offers Resources to Fight Avian H5N1 Influenza

U.S. Agency Offers Resources to Fight Avian H5N1 Influenza
U.S. Agency Offers Resources to Fight Avian H5N1 Influenza


COVID-19 case numbers, although at low levels, continue to increase across the country, according to the latest data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

COVID illustration
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According to the CDC: COVID Data TrackerThe test positivity rate for the week ending June 15 was 6.6%, up 1.2% from the previous week. Emergency room visits due to COVID-19 increased 14.7% from the previous week and are now at 0.7%. Weekly Snapshots Regarding the respiratory viral disease, the CDC said COVID infections are increasing or may be increasing in 39 states and territories, and are stable or uncertain in 10 states and territories.

The agency's two severity indicators, hospitalizations and deaths, have also shown notable increases: Through June 1, hospitalizations were up 25% from the previous week, and deaths were up 16.7%. However, hospitalization and death rates remain generally low compared to the peak of the pandemic.

Data from the CDC's National Wastewater Surveillance System show that while COVID wastewater levels are low nationwide, several Western states are experiencing increased virus activity, with six states reporting very high activity: Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, Missouri, Florida and Connecticut. Wastewater ScanThe National Wastewater Monitoring System, run by Stanford University in partnership with Emory University, suggests wastewater levels of COVID-19 are high across the country.

Mutant migration

This rise is likely due to an increase in the KP.3, KP.2 and LB.1 variants, which today's announcement said now account for 71.4% of samples sequenced, up from 61% the previous week. Updated variant ratiosAll three variants are derivatives of the JN.1 lineage and carry key mutations in the spike protein that help evade antibodies.

“KP.3 and LB.1 are expected to continue to represent an increasing proportion of variants causing COVID-19,” the CDC said.

Meanwhile, seasonal influenza activity remains low, according to the CDC's weekly report. FluView ReportHowever, the department noted that three additional influenza-related pediatric deaths occurring during the 2023-24 season were reported during the week ending June 15, bringing the total number of pediatric deaths this season to 178. This compares with 185 deaths during the 2022-23 season.




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