CDC indicates flu season is getting an earlier start, and end of pandemic restraints resulting in return of colds.
The quest to find an infectious disease worthy of the complete covid pandemic treatment continues.
There are a few new entries to consider this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns of a “severe flu season” this year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of a severe flu season as reports of the virus and other respiratory illnesses are already higher than normal.
The flu and similar viruses are notably higher in Georgia, New York City, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington D.C., the agency said. Usually flu season doesn’t begin to increase until December and peaks in February.
“We’ve noted that flu activity is starting to increase across much of the country,” especially in the Southeast and south-central United States, the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, told NBC News. “Not everybody got flu vaccinated last year, and many people did not get the flu. So that makes us ripe to have potentially a severe flu season.”
In the San Diego area, one school was slammed so hard with the flu that 50% of its students were out sick.
The San Diego Unified School District said Wednesday there have been hundreds of absences at Patrick Henry High School likely due to an influenza outbreak.
The district said, so far, all COVID-19 tests have been negative but found that several students have tested positive for the flu. Typical signs and symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever and other upper respiratory infection symptoms, the district said.
A source familiar with the situation told NBC 7 there are hundreds of cases and almost half of the school is affected or absent.
Fortunately, the county reports that no hospitalizations have been linked to the illness.
There are also concerns about the level of contagiousness associated with rhinoviruses (i.e., the common cold virus). There are concerns that the stringent covid pandemic response measures have left people with less immunity to fight off the current strains.
Social distancing and mask-wearing “certainly influenced how little rhinovirus we saw during the pandemic,” Dr. Rosemary Olivero, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Corewell Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital at Michigan University, tells Yahoo Life. But, she adds, “that comes with a flip side: Many of us may have lost our short-lived immunity to rhinovirus, which may be contributing to seeing even more of this virus this year.”
But rhinovirus is also “very contagious” and, as a result is “spreading fast,” Dr. Danelle Fisher, pediatrician and chair of pediatrics at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., tells Yahoo Life. “Some kids get the common cold from it, and some get much sicker — it can be really bad,” she adds.
Fisher says she’s having conversations about rhinovirus with patients’ parents “multiple times a day.” She continues, “These viruses are stronger than they have been in years.”
While the flu is nasty, and colds are unpleasant, these viruses do not achieve a significant plague status.DONATE
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