Get Informed, Stay Inspired

The United States sees increased flu and COVID infections during holiday season.
Science & Health

The United States sees increased flu and COVID infections during holiday season.

The current influenza season in the United States is becoming more severe, however, it is too early to determine the impact of holiday gatherings on the increase in illnesses.

The latest government statistics, released on Friday, reveal that during the holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s, 38 states reported elevated or extremely elevated numbers of respiratory illnesses accompanied by fever, coughing and other symptoms. This is an increase from the previous week’s count of 31 states.

The measure probably encompasses individuals who have contracted COVID-19, RSV, and other winter viruses, not just the flu. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there appears to be a significant uptick in cases of the flu.

According to Alicia Budd from the CDC, we anticipate the elevated levels to continue for several more weeks. However, she noted that this year’s flu season is considered moderate.

According to her, understanding influenza updates during and after the holiday season can be challenging. With schools closed and increased travel, there are more variables to consider. Some individuals may opt to tough it out at home rather than seek medical attention, while others may be more inclined to visit a doctor.

According to Dr. Mandy Cohen, Director of the CDC, the peak of flu season typically occurs between December and February. She predicts that this year, the peak will occur before the end of this month. Officials confirm that the flu shots available this season are a good match for the dominant strain of the virus.

The CDC reports that since October, there have been over 10 million cases of flu, resulting in 110,000 hospitalizations and 6,500 deaths. Unfortunately, 27 children have also lost their lives due to the flu.

According to CDC data, the rate of COVID-19 cases is not increasing as rapidly as the flu this winter. Hospitalizations due to coronavirus have not reached the same levels as in the past three winters. However, COVID-19 is still resulting in more hospitalizations than the flu, as shown by CDC data.

According to Lauren Ancel Meyers from the University of Texas, there has been a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country following a smaller peak in September.

Meyers, who leads a team that predicts trends for COVID-19, flu, and RSV, stated that there is much uncertainty surrounding the timing and magnitude of this current surge.

According to a recent estimate by the CDC, a new strain of the coronavirus, named JN.1, is responsible for approximately 66% of cases in the United States. However, health experts have stated that there is no proof that this variant causes more serious illness compared to other recent strains.