Flu season intensifies; Oregon reports ‘very high’ activity

The U.S. flu season retains getting worse.

Well being officers mentioned Friday that 7.5% of outpatient medical visits final week have been because of flu-like sicknesses. That’s as excessive as the height of the 2017-18 flu season and better than any season since.

The annual winter flu season normally doesn’t get going till December or January, however this one started early and has been sophisticated by the simultaneous unfold of different viruses.

The measure of site visitors in physician’s places of work relies on studies of signs like coughs and sore throats, not on lab-confirmed diagnoses. So it could embrace different respiratory sicknesses.

That makes it onerous to match to flu seasons from earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic. Different years additionally didn’t have this 12 months’s unusually sturdy wave of RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, a standard reason behind cold-like signs that may be critical for infants and the aged.

In the meantime, 44 states reported excessive or very excessive flu exercise final week, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned Friday. Oregon and Washington are each within the very excessive class.

This graphic reveals the % of optimistic flu exams in Oregon since 2017.

That will not bode effectively for the close to future. It’s doubtless there was extra unfold of respiratory viruses throughout Thanksgiving gatherings and at crowded airports, specialists say.

The dominant flu pressure up to now is the sort usually related to larger charges of hospitalizations and deaths, notably in folks 65 and older.

The CDC estimates there have been no less than 78,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths from flu up to now this season. The deaths embrace no less than 14 kids.

Within the tri-county Portland space, 7,583 folks examined optimistic for the flu and 78 folks have been hospitalized within the week ending Nov. twenty sixth, the newest information launched by the Oregon Well being Authority. That may be a 56% improve in hospitalizations from the earlier week.

Flu photographs are really useful for practically all People who’re no less than 6 months previous or older.

— By MIKE STOBBE AP Medical Author and The Oregonian/OregonLive

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