After what declared itself as a very robust start to flu season in the United States and elsewhere across the globe, the influenza virus is now taking the US by storm, with cases doubling approximately weekly.
Already this flu season, around 23,000 people have been hospitalised and approximately 1,300 people have died according to ABC News.
Children are also susceptible to catching flu and so far there have been three paediatric deaths reported by the CDC in the most recent week’s report, bringing this season total to date to five.
The CDC tracks respiratory illness, which it defines as having a fever plus a cough or sore throat, not just flu specifically. Those figures have skyrocketed this past week when looking at outpatient visits for respiratory illness, which includes other respiratory illnesses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as well as flu. That’s a pattern we are seeing here at Integra Healthcare too, with a marked surge in both paediatric and adult cases.
The CDC now identifies 16 states or major urban areas as having the highest possible level, termed “very high”, for outpatient respiratory illness attendances. These are: Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and New York City. Over a third of those have direct flights to Cayman, of course.
One concern this year is the so called Tripledemic, where children are facing flu, Covid and RSV, and so the CDC recommendation that anyone age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine could be far more pertinent this year than most.