ILI= Influenza Like Illness.
The holidays have contributed to the rise in the number of respiratory infections, RSV, flu and Covid 19. Plus, there are the other rhinoviruses and adenoviruses that circulate this time of year. While flu and RSV may have peaked, there are plenty of new cases. The variants of Covid 19 continue to change, but fortunately do not seem to be more lethal. Hospitalizations, while increasing, are not nearly as high as a year ago.
Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 becoming dominant in U.S
CNBC (12/30, Kimball) reported, “The COVID Omicron XBB.1.5 variant is rapidly becoming dominant in the U.S. because it is highly immune evasive and appears more effective at binding to cells than related subvariants, scientists say.” The subvariant “now represents about 41% of new cases nationwide in the U.S…according to…data published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” XBB.1.5 “more than doubled as a share of cases every week through Dec. 24.”
The Hill (12/30, Choi) reported, “Regionally, XBB.1.5 now accounts for the majority of COVID-19 cases in the northeast, identified as causing 75% of cases in New England and in the New York tri-state area.”
Seasonal flu activity remains high in U.S. but continuing to decline
CNN (12/30, Howard) reported “seasonal flu activity remains high in the United States but continued to decline in most areas” in the week “leading up to Christmas, according to data published Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” The agency “estimates that as of” the week ending December 24, “there have been at least 20 million illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations and 13,000 deaths from flu this season.”