According to a recent announcement by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this year’s flu season has begun early and has affected most parts of US. According to the health agency’s report last week, about 12 states are now facing intense activity. The flu season for 2019-2020 has arrived earlier by a month and is also expected to reach its peak earlier.
The health agency said that this is only the second time after 2004-2005 that the flu season has started picking up so pace so early. According to a report by The Associated Press, Scott Epperson, who tracks flu-like illnesses at CDC, said that “It really depends on what viruses are circulating. There´s not a predictable trend as far as if it´s early it´s going to be more severe, or later, less severe.”
The health experts said that the virus causing the flu was unlike the typical virus that circulates around this time. This strain of virus called influenza B/Victoria, reportedly does not make much movement before March or April. To confirm the onset of the flu season, the health officials gauge the number of hospital visits made by people due to flu-like illnesses. If they find a considerable proportion of the visits due to such illnesses for three weeks on the trot, the officials view the flu season to be in progress.
According to preliminary data released by CDC, the country between October 1 and November 30, may have experienced 1.7 to 2.5 million cases of illnesses caused by flu. Of these, up to 29,000 may have been hospitalized while between 910 to 2,400 may have died. Most of the deaths caused every year during the flu season involves individuals above the age of 50. However, this particular strain is less harmful to the elderly but poses increased risk towards children and those younger than 50.