Chairman and Chief Editor
Bedour Ibrahim

Flu Hospitalizations Nearly Double Over the Last Week in the US

Saturday 03/December/2022 - 07:24 PM
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Influenza hospitalizations nearly doubled over the last week, adding to the already torrid season for respiratory illnesses in the US.

There were 19,593 people hospitalized for influenza during the week ending Nov. 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. Admission rates have reached the highest level in more than a decade, behind only the 2009-2010 flu season when a new strain of the influenza A virus caused severe cases to skyrocket among children.

This year’s outbreak is so far most severe for adults ages 65 and older, who are being admitted at the highest rates seen this early in the season since at least 2009, according to CDC data. Small children are also being hit harder than other age groups, with hospitalization rates climbing to 28.4 per 100,000 children ages 4 and under.

Figures also show that Black Americans are being hospitalized for flu at a rate three times higher than White people.

Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said that influenza transmission in the US right now is “dramatic,” with almost the entire country experiencing levels that the agency classifies as high or very high. 

“Don’t take comfort if you live in one of the few ‘green’ jurisdictions, as flu is everywhere,” she said.

Experts remain divided on the reasons for this year’s surge. Some say that Covid prevention measures reduced exposure to the viruses, creating an “immunity debt” against infection; others have said that Covid itself may have reduced the many recovered patients’ ability to respond.