Flu Circumstances Climbing as We Return to a Extra ‘Typical’ Season

Nov. 14, 2023 – In what appears to be like like a return to a typical pre-pandemic flu season, circumstances nationwide proceed to slowly climb this fall, nationwide infectious illness knowledgeable and pharmacy information reveals. 

Flu remains to be nothing to mess with, and officers are selling the flu exercise outcomes as a reminder for folks to get their flu pictures as quickly as potential – earlier than an anticipated peak early subsequent 12 months.

Seasonal influenza exercise is growing in most components of the nation, primarily within the South Central, Southeast, and West Coast areas, the CDC mentioned in up to date numbers launched Monday. Within the prior week, the variety of lab exams optimistic for the flu was up 3%, and the variety of outpatient visits for respiratory sickness was up 2.9%.

Numbers from a nationwide pharmacy chain reveals the identical total sluggish improve in circumstances and the best flu exercise throughout the southern United States. As of Nov. 4, 2023, Puerto Rico, Mississippi, and Louisiana had probably the most flu exercise, the 2023-2024 Walgreens Flu Index reveals. 

“Right now, it is rather low exercise. There’s not a lot of a flu season but,” mentioned Pedro Piedra, MD, a professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor School of Medication in Houston.

The most important virus circulating now could be respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and never influenza. “However that does not imply that the flu will not be going to come back. Viruses are available waves,” Piedra mentioned. “Till then, that is the most effective time to be vaccinated and to be getting ready for the flu season.”

The variety of weekly flu hospital admissions can be growing, with 1,962 folks hospitalized previously week of CDC surveillance. Admissions are up barely, in comparison with the week earlier than, with seniors and kids youthful than 4 accounting for probably the most circumstances. The company experiences that one little one has died from the flu thus far this season.

“Whereas it’s early days and flu season is at all times unpredictable, our historic information recommend this might be a return to a typical two-wave flu season, the place exercise begins to peak in December and reaches its highest level in February,” Kevin Ban, MD, Walgreens’ chief medical officer, mentioned in a press release. 

Index flu exercise is predicated on adjustments within the variety of antiviral medicines used to deal with influenza each week throughout Walgreens and Duane Reade drugstore places within the U.S. Information is supplied by state and area as properly. 

“The index will not be meant for example flu severity, however somewhat, primarily based on this technique, to point out which populations are experiencing the best incidence of influenza inside america and Puerto Rico every week,” an organization launch mentioned. 

Piedra cautioned that different infections may trigger folks to buy antiviral medicines. Laboratory-confirmed flu an infection information, like numbers supplied by the CDC, can be extra exact, he mentioned.

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