December 4, 2023

Nov. 14, 2023 – In what seems to be like a return to a typical pre-pandemic flu season, instances nationwide proceed to slowly climb this fall, nationwide infectious illness professional and pharmacy knowledge reveals. 

Flu continues to be nothing to mess with, and officers are selling the flu exercise outcomes as a reminder for individuals to get their flu photographs as quickly as doable – earlier than an anticipated peak early subsequent yr.

Seasonal influenza exercise is rising in most elements of the nation, primarily within the South Central, Southeast, and West Coast areas, the CDC mentioned in updated numbers launched Monday. Within the prior week, the variety of lab assessments 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 gradual enhance in instances and the very best flu exercise throughout the southern United States. As of Nov. 4, 2023, Puerto Rico, Mississippi, and Louisiana had essentially the most flu exercise, the 2023-2024 Walgreens Flu Index reveals. 

“Presently, it is extremely 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 Faculty of Medication in Houston.

The main virus circulating now could be respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and never influenza. “However that does not imply that the flu isn’t going to come back. Viruses are available in waves,” Piedra mentioned. “Till then, that is one of the best time to be vaccinated and to be getting ready for the flu season.”

The variety of weekly flu hospital admissions can also be rising, with 1,962 individuals hospitalized up to now week of CDC surveillance. Admissions are up barely, in comparison with the week earlier than, with seniors and kids youthful than 4 accounting for essentially the most instances. The company stories that one baby has died from the flu thus far this season.

“Whereas it’s early days and flu season is all the time unpredictable, our historic knowledge counsel this could possibly 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 modifications within the variety of antiviral medicines used to deal with influenza each week throughout Walgreens and Duane Reade drugstore places within the U.S. Knowledge is supplied by state and area as properly. 

“The index isn’t supposed as an example flu severity, however quite, primarily based on this system, to point out which populations are experiencing the very best incidence of influenza inside the USA and Puerto Rico every week,” an organization launch mentioned. 

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