Flu Season Ends Not With a Bang but a Whimper

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Flu Season Ends Not With a Bang but a Whimper


March 10, 2023 – The 2022-23 flu season lasted the second half of January and most of February at the end of its specified existence, but it now appears to be over.

For the CDC, the annual epidemic known as flu season “occurs when flu activity is higher than the ‘baseline’ value defined by the CDC.” That amount, expressed as the proportion of all outpatient visits involving influenza-like illness among healthcare providers in the US Outpatient ILI Surveillance Network, is currently 2.5%.

Over the past 6 weeks, the national figure has been between 2.6% (Feb. 19-25), and 2.7% (Jan. 15-21). In other words, it lasted as if there was no flu season it was a long time agoat least since the CDC began setting a national baseline in 2007-08.

But for the week of Feb. 26 through March 4, outpatient flu-like illness visits represented just 2.4% of all visits, the CDC’s Reported by the Influenza Divisionfalling below the baseline for the first time since the first week of October 2022.

Back then, the early start of the flu season raised concerns about a “tripledemic” involving respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19. But by the time flu season hits, RSV activity The expected surge in COVID has begun to decline and has not materialized, CDC data show.

Since the start of the 2022-23 season, the United States has had at least 26 million flu illnesses, 290,000 hospitalizations, and 18,000 deaths, 125 of which were deaths of children, the CDC estimates.