Flu season is getting weirder


Coronavirus might remain in the headings, however it’s still flu season, and an unusual one at that — authorities are seeing a brand-new spike in flu activity as a 2nd pressure of flu hits on the heels of the very first.

The 2019-2020 flu season currently had an uncommon start — in December and early January, the primary pressure of flu infection flowing was a type called influenza B, Live Science formerly reported. Usually, influenza B does not trigger as lots of cases as influenza A stress (H1N1 and H3N2) and tends to appear later on in the flu season, not at the start. Undoubtedly, the last time influenza B controlled flu activity in the U.S. was throughout the 1992-1993 flu season, according to the CDC.

But now, influenza A is rebounding. In current weeks, there has actually been a rise in activity of H1N1 in the U.S., according to information from the CDC. Which implies much more individuals are going to the physician for flu — the portion of individuals going to the physician for flu-like disease increased from 6.6% of all gos to recently to 6.8% of all gos to today, according to the CDC.

A chart comparing medical professionals’ gos to for flu throughout this season (red line, with arrows) with other current seasons. A boost in H1N1 activity seems triggering a 2nd peak in flu season.  (Image credit: CDC)

This kind of “double-barreled” flu season is uncommon, according to Healthline. Although something similar did happen last year, in which an initial wave of H1N1 activity was followed by a wave of H3N2 activity.

“We may well have, for the second year in a row — unprecedented — a double-barreled influenza season,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, told WebMD.

So far this season, there have been an estimated 26 million illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths from flu, according to the CDC. 

Although the number of hospitalizations are typical for this time of year, officials are seeing higher-than-typical hospitalization rates among children, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a news conference today (Feb. 14). 

As officials talk about the potential threat of coronavirus in the U.S., “I want to remind everyone of the very real threat of seasonal influenza,” Messonnier said.

And with H1N1 activity increasing, it could mean flu season will drag out longer than usual, according to Healthline.

Originally published on Live Science. 

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