New Numbers Suggest Flu Cases will Rise in 2019
New numbers released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today suggest that flu cases are on the rise in North American for 2019. For the first time ever, the CDC is providing statistics on flu during the current season.
While the 2018-2019 flu season has not been as severe as last year, last week’s levels were reported to be twice the national baseline at 4.1% elevation. With an estimated 6.2 million to 7.3 million people sick with flu in the United States since October, as the season now enters its peak period, there are currently widespread flu outbreaks across 31 states, with high levels of flu activity reported in 19 states.
The A-strains of the flu virus are reported to be the most common thus far, particularly the H1N1 strain, commonly known as the “swine flu”, which led to the pandemic in 2009 and 2010.
The CDC has yet to release any information on the number of flu-related fatalities this season, however, 16 pediatric deaths associated with the flu have been reported thus far. In Canada, the Public Health agencies are reporting more than double the number of pediatric hospitalizations due to flu compared to this time last year. Healthcare workers are warning that children are particularly vulnerable to this year’s H1N1 strain.
While the CDC and other health agencies recommend getting vaccinated against the flu early in the season, which runs from October to May, they do stress that it is not too late to get your vaccination. Statistics estimate that more than 80,000 people died from the flu virus last year, making it one of the most severe years for the flu virus in decades.
If you would like to keep up to date on flu statistics for the United States, you can follow the CDC’s weekly report, Flu View, which is updated weekly by the agency.