Anybody Remember That This is Flu Season?

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

It’s easy to lose sight that we’re in flu season when we’re up to our eyeballs battling COVID-19.  It is indeed flu season and here’s the current stats:

We’ve seen worse maps for the past 23 months – lots of red on the COVID-19 maps.  Still, we can’t let our guard nor surveillance lapse on preventing severe illness and death from the flu.

For week 5, ending on February 5, CDC’s Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, FluView summary reports sporadic influenza activity continues across the country. The percentage of outpatient visits due to respiratory illness has decreased nationally and is below baseline, however, the number of hospital admissions due to flu has increased slightly this week. CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 2.2 million flu illnesses, 22,000 hospitalizations, and 1,300 deaths from flu. The next data update is scheduled for Friday, February 18, 2022.

CDC’s new Weekly Flu Vaccination Dashboard shares preliminary vaccination data. This week’s key fact: There is considerable state-to-state variability in flu vaccination coverage for the 2021–2022 season through January 8 for both adults and children. For adults age 18 and older, coverage by jurisdiction ranged from 14.3% to 54.8%, and for children age 6 months–17 years, from 16.5% to 72.1%

CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine. Influenza and COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same visit, if needed. COVID-19 vaccination alone provides no protection from influenza or any other respiratory virus.