Here’s the latest on flu cases from the CDC. With Thanksgiving gatherings and travel, plenty of people have been exposed to flu, Covid 19 and RSV. It’s not too late to get immunized against the flu. It seems like people have been avoiding both flu vaccine as well as the new bivalent Covid 19 vaccine due to vaccine fatigue. Remember, it takes any vaccine about two weeks to reach its full efficacy.
- Seasonal influenza activity is elevated across the country.
- Of influenza A viruses detected and subtyped this season, 78% have been influenza A(H3N2) and 22% have been influenza A(H1N1).
- Five influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported this week, for a total of 12 pediatric flu deaths reported so far this season.
- CDC estimates that, so far this season, there have been at least 6.2 million illnesses, 53,000 hospitalizations, and 2,900 deaths from flu.
- The cumulative hospitalization rate in the FluSurv-NET system is higher than the rate observed in week 46 during every previous season since 2010-2011.
- The majority of influenza viruses tested are in the same genetic subclade as and antigenically similar to the influenza viruses included in this season’s influenza vaccine.
- An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu. Vaccination helps prevent infection and can also prevent serious outcomes in people who get vaccinated but still get sick with flu.
- CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get a flu vaccine annually. Now is a good time to get vaccinated if you haven’t already.
- There are also prescription flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness; those need to be started as early as possible.