The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 9 million flu infections and 4,500 deaths in this season alone. According to Daily Mail, the worst is yet to come.
D.r Sandra Fryhofer, who is a trustee at the American Medical Association, called the outbreak “a perfect storm for a terrible holiday season,” during a CDC briefing.
Many health professionals believe the lockdowns, masking mandates and social distancing orders put in place during the COVID pandemic negatively effected people’s immune systems, not allowing them exposure to healthy germs.
As a result, hospitals are filled and there is now a shortage of flu medications.
The CDC reported 14 pediatric deaths from the flu so far this season. On average, about 200 children die from the flu every year. In a recent report, the CDC also emphasized the breadth of this strain of the virus, with 44 states reporting “very high” levels of transmission.
The 11 states with the highest transmission levels include California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. In Washington state, 13 have died so far this season from the flu, including two children, according to NBC’s Washington affiliate KING 5.
Health experts have compared the severity of this flu strain to the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic.
Americans have also been struggling with Respiratory Syncytial Virus, more commonly known as RSV. While the spread of RSV has slowed recently, the CDC recorded 7,460 cases and a 12.5% positivity rate for RSV last week.
The flu outbreak is expected to peak in the next few weeks, as states that experienced high transmission rates towards the beginning of the sickly season, such as Alabama and Georgia, are seeing their rates drop.
It is expected that RSV rates will also drop soon, as reported cases and test numbers start to fall.
COVID is still reported as a threat, though there have not been reports on any new variants in this season.