Flu Activity In US Is “High” or “Very High” – CDC Says

Flu activity in US

According to the latest weekly report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over two-thirds of states in the U.S. are reporting “high” and “very high” levels of influenza cases. 

The reports showed that by the end of Nov. 19, around 16 states including New York City and Washington D.C are reporting “very high” levels while 17 other states reported “high” levels of cases. 

Contrasting with the previous year during this time, all states were reporting moderate ad low levels of activity with states like New Mexico and Rhode Island being the only places reporting “high” levels.

Was The Flu Activity In The US Earlier This Year?

CDC’s report arrives as experts warn that the flu season has begun earlier this year than usual and the nation potentially looking towards a tripledemic with the covid, RSV, and the flu, all causing hospital beds to be filled up quickly across the nation. 

Cumulatively around 6.2 million illnesses have been reported so far with 2,900 deaths from flu and 53,000 hospitalizations. Last week’s report showed 4.4 million illnesses, 38,000 hospitalizations with 2,100 deaths from the flu. 

Flu activity in US

The hospitalization rate is at a whopping 11.3 per 100,000 cases, which is the highest for this time since the 2010-2011 flu season. 

Although influenza-like cases show the highest level at this point in the season, the rate of increase has slowed down in a previous couple of weeks.

Five influenza-associate pediatric deaths were also reported by the CDC which takes the death toll of children to a total of 12 for the current season. 

Experts have warned that the cases are probably going to increase with the start of the holiday season and large family gatherings set to take place around the country. 

Flu activity in US has unraveled unusually early this year with covid and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is already inundating hospital systems. 

According to Dr. Ashish Jha, coordinator for the White House Covid-19 Task Force, we are dealing with three very contagious respiratory viruses and the likelihood of an increase in the upcoming weeks for the number of cases of influenza and covid is high. Dr. Ashish believes that the surge in RSV may have peaked as the numbers seemed to be going down nationally. The next couple of weeks’ reports will confirm this according to him. 

Flu season typically starts early in December and reaches its peaks by the end of January or February. One of the main reasons for the unusual spike in flu cases this year is considered to be a lack of vaccinations due to the early start of flu season this time. 

There are a lot of people who are unvaccinated than there would have been during ordinary seasons which makes it easier for the virus to spread. 

The CDC data shows that only 12 percent of eligible people in the US have received their updated Covid-19 booster shots, and 1 in 5 people is still completely unvaccinated nationally. The number of flu shots taken was also short by a few million compared to the past two years. 

There is currently no vaccine available for RSV and children’s hospitals are fuller than usual despite the cases going down. 

Pediatric hospital beds have been filled up for months now and leaders are calling for a formal emergy declaration from the federal government to support hospitals and communities amidst the alarming surge in respiratory illnesses in infants and children. 

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