Number of Flu Cases Lower Than Pre-pandemic Levels
March 21, 2022, One of the positive side effects of the COVID pandemic has been a decrease in the incidence of influenza, apparently due to the isolation of people and social distancing. Influenza cases are rising in the United States but have not reached pre-pandemic levels. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection. In the 2019-2020 season, more than 22,000 people died from the flu in the United States. The death rate has dropped to about 700 in the 2020-2021 season. The CDC estimates that there have been 1,700 influenza deaths, 2.9 million influenza cases, and 28,000 influenza hospitalizations so far for the 2021-2022 flu season.
“The cumulative hospitalization rate … is higher than the rate for the entire 2020-2021 season, but lower than the rate observed at this time during the four seasons leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the CDC said in a statement. Weekly influenza surveillance report.
But the CDC noted that the number of hospitalizations had increased each of the past six weeks. Last week, three children died from the flu. For the 2021-2022 influenza season, 13 childhood deaths have been reported.
The percentage of outpatient visits for respiratory illnesses increased last week but is still below the epidemic’s baseline, the CDC said, noting that the flu is not the only circulating respiratory disease.
Flu cases vary by location
While flu cases vary by location, Oklahoma has reported high flu activity measured by doctor visits. In contrast, the CDC said Arkansas and Idaho had reported moderate activity. Vaccines have been developed well to address the influenza strains expected to dominate the United States during the 2021-2022 flu season: H3N2, H1N1, and two influenza B strains. A preliminary study published in December said the flu vaccines for the 2021-2022 flu season do not provide the protection they had hoped for against the most widely circulating influenza strain. However, the study found that vaccines still prevent severe illness in infected people.
Flu season typically runs from October to May in the northern hemisphere and April to September in the southern hemisphere.