Health experts believe the United States may be in for an early and severe flu season as outbreaks of the flu and other respiratory illnesses spread across the country.
According to William Schaffner, MD, a specialist in infectious diseases and professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, “I’m worried that we will have a very large influenza season coming up this year, considerably different from our two previous seasons.”
He stated, “We’re already seeing sporadic influenza infections, even hospitalised influenza cases, across the country. This is the middle of October, not the middle of November. “So, we are aware that the infection is already spreading throughout the neighbourhood. It’s already gaining momentum. I estimate that it is about a month early.
According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, “we’ve noticed that flu activity is starting to grow over much of the country,” particularly in the Southeast and south-central U.S. “Last year, many people did not contract the flu, and not everyone received the flu vaccination. Thus, the possibility for a particularly bad flu season is already present.”
Flu season typically starts in October or November and peaks from December through February in the United States. The District of Columbia, Texas, Georgia, and the North Mariana Islands all had “high” levels of influenza activity as of Oct. 7, according to the CDC’s weekly influenza report.
According to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in Georgia, “extraordinary” numbers of kids with respiratory diseases are visiting emergency departments, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The hospital network could not give precise figures but claimed that the increase in patients is two to three times the usual volume for this time of year.
According to health officials, several Patrick Henry High School students in San Diego missed class due to respiratory and flu-like symptoms.
According to a news release from San Diego County Public Health Services, local hospitals have seen an increase in the number of young individuals with flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, symptoms visiting emergency rooms.
According to infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic Frank Esper, MD, the number of RSV cases being treated there has “hugely increased.” RSV instances typically occur in December and January, but he claimed that recent years had seen an earlier onset.
Flu is spreading, but there are also other viruses that have been thrown off balance, he added. This might be the new standard.
Experts claim that COVID social distance played a role in the exceptionally mild flu seasons that have recently occurred in the United States. This year, it might be simpler for the flu to spread due to a relaxation of social distance and security precautions like disguising. Indicative of an impending flu season in the Northern Hemisphere, flu cases are also increasing in the Southern Hemisphere.