Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The flu remains a serious proposition in the United States, even as officials struggle with coronavirus response.
According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's FluView report, more than 22 million Americans have suffered from influenza so far this winter, with an estimated 3 million new cases in the most recent week reviewed alone.
In addition, the far-more-common bug has resulted in more than 210,000 hospitalizations and at least 12,000 deaths, including 78 confirmed fatalities among children.
In all, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza across the country during the week ending Feb. 1 was 7.1 percent, just below the agency's threshold for an epidemic of 7.2 percent.
To date, there have been 12 confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States, with no fatalities reported as yet.
A seasonal high of 45 states reported high flu activity during the week ending Feb. 1, up from 42 the previous week.
The states reporting high flu activity included Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
New York City and Puerto Rico also reported high flu activity for the period, as they have for most of the flu season so far.
Although the majority of laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus still involve the less severe -- and less infectious -- influenza B strains, cases of influenza A, particularly H1N1pdm09, are on the rise. On the positive side, nearly all of the influenza strains in circulation have responded to treatment with one of the four Food and Drug Administration-approved antiviral medications available.
Earlier this week, the FDA approved AUDENZ, a vaccine with efficacy against iInfluenza A H5N1, the first-ever adjuvanted, cell-based pandemic influenza vaccine designed to protect against the subtype of influenza that the CDC says has strong pandemic potential.