Nov. 14, 2023 – In what appears like a return to a typical pre-pandemic flu season, instances nationwide proceed to slowly climb this fall, nationwide infectious illness knowledgeable and pharmacy information exhibits. 

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 potential – earlier than an anticipated peak early subsequent yr.

Seasonal influenza exercise is growing in most components of the nation, primarily within the South Central, Southeast, and West Coast areas, the CDC stated in up to date numbers launched Monday. Within the prior week, the variety of lab assessments constructive 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 exhibits the identical general gradual improve in instances and the 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 exhibits. 

“Right now, it is vitally low exercise. There’s not a lot of a flu season but,” stated Pedro Piedra, MD, a professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor Faculty of Drugs in Houston.

The most important virus circulating now’s respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and never influenza. “However that does not imply that the flu shouldn’t be going to come back. Viruses are available waves,” Piedra stated. “Till then, that is the perfect time to be vaccinated and to be getting ready for the flu season.”

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

“Whereas it’s early days and flu season is all the time unpredictable, our historic information recommend this may very well 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, stated in a press release. 

Index flu exercise relies 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 offered by state and area as properly. 

“The index shouldn’t be supposed as an example flu severity, however fairly, based mostly on this system, to indicate which populations are experiencing the best incidence of influenza inside the US and Puerto Rico every week,” an organization launch stated. 

Piedra cautioned that different infections may trigger individuals to buy antiviral medicines. Laboratory-confirmed flu an infection information, like numbers offered by the CDC, could be extra exact, he stated.

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