Nov. 14, 2023 – In what seems 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 remains to be nothing to mess with, and officers are selling the flu exercise outcomes as a reminder for folks to get their flu photographs as quickly as attainable – 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 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 reveals the identical total 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 probably the most flu exercise, the 2023-2024 Walgreens Flu Index reveals. 

“Presently, it is vitally 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 Drugs in Houston.

The main virus circulating now’s respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and never influenza. “However that does not imply that the flu isn’t going to come back. Viruses are available 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 folks 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 probably the most instances. The company studies that one baby has died from the flu to date this season.

“Whereas it’s early days and flu season is at all times unpredictable, our historic knowledge 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, mentioned in an announcement. 

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 areas within the U.S. Information is supplied by state and area as nicely. 

“The index isn’t supposed as an instance flu severity, however reasonably, based mostly on this technique, to point out which populations are experiencing the best incidence of influenza inside the US and Puerto Rico every week,” an organization launch mentioned. 

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

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