This year the flu is making an entrance in November.
The flu season is well underway, with several states registering high levels of flu activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s released new data, there is elevated flu activity in seven states and territories. Louisiana has been experiencing very high number of flu cases, while Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, and South Carolina also reported high flu activity. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico also recorded high levels of influenza, with an influenza epidemic declared in the latter.
“We’re off to the races,” Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University infectious diseases expert, told The Associated Press.
Typically, the winter flu season begins in December or January. However, last year saw an early start in October, and this year it is making an entrance in November.
Flu activity is on the rise in several other states, including New York City, Arkansas, California, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, The Associated Press reported. Tracking of those experiencing the flu relies in part on reports of people with flu-like symptoms who go to doctor’s offices or hospitals; however, often times people with the flu fail to get tested, so their infections aren’t lab-confirmed.
The presence of other respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19, is making things more complicated this flu season.
“Really what we’re seeing is a more sharp increase in activity, week over week, and we know from experience when that happens often times we are entering into that period of even more increased activity,” Alicia Budd, the CDC’s team lead for domestic flu surveillance, told Stat. “It’s a great time for people to get vaccinated, if they’ve been holding off.”
Source: Black Enterprise