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Get flu shots as soon as possible, the CDC warns of potentially severe season

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu and other respiratory diseases are reported at a higher rate than usual in the United States at this time of the year.

“We have noticed that flu activity has started to increase across most of the country,” Dr. Rochelle Wilensky, director at the CDC, stated.

“Not everyone got the flu vaccine last year and many people didn’t get the flu. This makes it possible for us to experience a severe flu season.

Flu season peaks in February and December.

The CDC reported Friday that flu and other viral diseases are at an all-time high in Georgia, New York City, South Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, DC.

These are mostly influenza A cases, specifically H3N2. Although any flu strain can cause serious illness in vulnerable populations it is more dangerous than others.

The CDC and other health officials monitor flu activity by looking for “influenza-like illnesses” so doctors are not required to report every positive flu test. These are those who have a fever above 100 degrees, a sore throat, and/or cough without any other known causes.

Dr. James Cutrell is an infectious disease specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas. He said that there has been a “very steep rise” of flu-like and other influenza-like diseases, both in children and adults.

A San Diego school district reported Wednesday that there were “hundreds of absences” at a local high school due to an epidemic of flu. Many children reported feeling a sore throat, fever, cough, and congestion.

The station reported that there have been no positive tests for Covid. However, several students have tested positive for the flu.

According to KNSD reporting, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, deputy public health officer for the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency said that “Unfortunately, this would be an extremely severe influenza season.” Other respiratory viruses, such as Covid-19 are also making a rapid return.

This includes the respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

Frank Esper, a Cleveland Clinic infectious disease expert, said, “Right now we’re in an enormous spike of RSV.” RSV is often a problem in babies, but it can also affect adults with chronic obstructive lung disease and asthma.

Esper stated that RSV cases are most common in December and January. However, for the past two years, Esper has observed that the typical RSV season occurs during the summer and early fall. Enteroviruses as well as Rhinoviruses are now circulating earlier than normal. Because other viruses have not been able to spread as much in the past, measures taken to stop Covid spread are causing this.

Esper stated that flu is on the rise but also other viruses. “This could be the new norm. We don’t know.

RSV is not a vaccine. However, influenza is. Walensky stated that “about 12,000,000 flu vaccines” have been administered in pharmacies and physician’s offices so far this year.

She said that this is slightly less than what she received at the same time last year. However, she acknowledged that vaccine fatigue may have contributed to the lower rate.

To provide complete protection, it takes approximately two weeks from the flu vaccine injection. Everyone 6 months or older should get a flu shot every year, according to the CDC.

Walensky stated that “we do want people to be protected before they get influenza in their communities.”

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