The United States is experiencing the highest levels of hospitalizations from influenza that it has seen in a decade at this time of year, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday, adding that 14 youth have died so far this flu season.
U.S. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, speaking to reporters in a news briefing, added U.S. hospital systems continue to be stressed with a high number of patients with other respiratory illnesses such as a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19.
FISM News reported the surge in flu cases last week, noting that the peak of flu season in the U.S. is usually in January and February. There were 2,900 reported deaths from the virus and a total of 12 pediatric flu deaths through mid-November, five of which were reported the week of the latest published data, ending Nov. 19. The most recent report also showed that there have been at least 6.2 million illnesses and about 53,000 people have been hospitalized this season, which is “higher than the rate observed in week 46 during every previous season since 2010-2011.”
In November, FISM News’ Lauren Dempsey also reported on the spike in pediatric RSV cases. Hospitals usually see cases of RSV starting in November and the season usually lasts until April. However, the CDC reported seeing higher-than-normal cases as early as October this year.
Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters. Additions and edits for FISM News by Jacob Fuller and Lauren Dempsey.