A Rise in Flu Activity Amid High Respiratory Virus Levels
The respiratory virus season in the US hasn’t come to an end just yet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over a third of all states are still experiencing high or even very high levels of respiratory illness this season. Despite a decline observed in recent weeks, flu activity is on the rise again, with respiratory virus levels remaining overall high throughout the country.
During the week ending January 27, data from the CDC revealed that more than 82,000 people who visited an emergency department were diagnosed with influenza—an 8% bump or around 6,000 more cases compared to the week before. A traditional second wave of influenza typically appears after a more significant downturn in cases as influenza B viruses begin to dominate the previously circulating influenza A viruses.
Emergency Department Visits for COVID-19 and RSV Show Decline
While flu activity experiences a resurgence, emergency department visits for COVID-19 and RSV have seen a declining trend lasting for a month. However, during the week ending January 27, there were still over 50,000 emergency department visits and approximately 23,000 hospitalizations for COVID-19. The downward trend for COVID-19 comes as expected, while the peak for flu activity may shift later this season.
Experts maintain that observing local trends is the best way to assess risk accurately and make informed decisions about staying safe and healthy. So far, the CDC reports that 18 states, along with Washington DC, continue to experience high or very high levels of respiratory illness.
Growing Flu Infections Noted in Several States
New data suggests that flu infections are on the rise in Florida, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas. Moreover, an increase in cases is likely to occur in the following states as well:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Vaccine Protection Remains Strong: It’s Not Too Late!
Early data indicates that this year’s vaccine offers robust protection against the prevailing flu strains this season. Experts emphasize that it is still not too late to get vaccinated. Getting a flu shot can help reduce the severity of symptoms should you contract the virus and lessen the likelihood of spreading it to others.
Tips for Staying Safe and Healthy During the Respiratory Virus Season
To mitigate the risk of respiratory virus infections during this ongoing season, consider following these steps:
- Get vaccinated: If you haven’t already received your flu shot, now is the time to do so. Vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent influenza and its severe complications.
- Maintain hygiene practices: Frequent handwashing, sanitizing commonly touched surfaces, and practicing good respiratory etiquette, such as covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, can help stop the spread of viruses.
- Avoid close contact: Limit your interaction with individuals who are sick and maintain social distancing measures wherever possible.
- Stay informed: Keep a close eye on local news and updates from health authorities to remain aware of developing trends in your area.
- Seek medical help if required: If you develop symptoms of a respiratory virus, consult with a healthcare professional for advice and treatment.
In conclusion, as the respiratory virus season in the US continues, it’s crucial to stay informed and take appropriate precautions. By following expert recommendations, you can remain safe and healthy during this challenging time.