#2: Health Officials Predict Flu Season Could Last Until May
Although flu season is typically synonymous with winter, health officials are claiming that this year’s flu season could last well into May.
Flu activity is on the decline in most parts of the United States; however, southern and south eastern portions of the country are still experiencing high flu activity. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new weekly flu report, the states that are currently experiencing high influenza-like illness activity include: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming.”
Although most of the illness experienced this flu season were reportedly due to infection with the influenza A (H3N2) strain of the virus, the CDC is reporting that the rise in recent infections is due to the influenza B strain. This year’s influenza vaccine was found to have a 73% effectiveness rate
against circulating influenza B viruses. There is no data available as to whether or not those who are newly infected with the influenza B strain received the vaccine or not.
Two states that are experiencing high incidence of infection are Georgia and Texas. In many schools in Georgia, the increase in infections has impacted some schools to the point that up to 10% of the student population has been home sick with the flu. To stave off further spread of infection, officials are encouraging parents to keep their children home if they are sick. In Texas, cases of serious influenza infections are high, with upwards of 15 flu-related deaths reported since October 2, 2016.
To learn more about the latest on the flu season in the United States, click here