According to the CDC’s first weekly influenza surveillance report of the 2022–23 flu season, high levels of flu are being observed in Southeastern states even while the number of flu cases is increasing across the country.
The CDC said on October 14 that “influenza activity is low but increasing in much of the country.” The regions with the highest flu activity are reported to be Regions 4 (Southeast) and Region 6 (South Central).
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee are included in Region 4. Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas make up Region 6.
According to the weekly influenza surveillance report, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, New York City, and the District of Columbia are reporting “high” levels of flu activity.
According to the CDC, the number of outpatient doctor visits for influenza-like illness increased 2.6% last week, slightly higher than the 2.5% national baseline.
Flu season typically starts in October or November and peaks from December through February in the United States. After two mild flu seasons, health experts have warned that the United States may be in for a devastating one.
According to STAT News, flu positivity in clinical laboratories last week was 3.3% nationwide but above 10% in the Southeast, according to flu epidemiologist Lynnette Brammer, team head for domestic surveillance at the CDC’s influenza division. “And it was 5% in the South Central region. Hospitalizations for influenza are rising. Additionally, they are increasing where flu positive and ILIs are also increasing.
The Southeast and possibly South Central are starting to show a more consistent picture, and it’s definitely spreading out. All the parts are sort of coming together.