This year's flu season is not going away quietly.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention says the percentage of medical visits for flu-like symptoms for the week ending March 16 was at 4.4 percent, above the baseline 2.2 percent.
That is the highest this late in the season since the CDC began tracking such data 20 years ago, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Although the season – which stretches from October to May – has not been as severe overall as in past years, flu activity remains at an elevated level.
Forty-four states report widespread flu activity, and 26 states are still experiencing high activity.
“Influenza-like-illness levels have been at or above baseline for 17 weeks this season," according to the CDC summary. "By this measure, the last five seasons have averaged 16 weeks, with a range of 11 to 20 weeks.”
“The CDC expects flu activity to remain elevated for a number of weeks, suggesting this season is likely to be relatively long," the summary says.
In a more specific forecast, the CDC says it appears the flu season peaked nationally in mid-February, but "flu activity is expected to remain elevated nationally through April.”
The report also notes an additional eight flu-related pediatric deaths, bringing the total for the season to 76.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Flu season nears the finish line, but it is not going away quietly