After a strange year off due to COVID-19, Flu Season makes a comeback

The flu virus, after being subsumed by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, has made an unwelcome comeback, according to health officials.

For the week ending December 11, 2011, approximately 2,500 influenza cases were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though that figure isn’t unusual for this time of year, it also represents a number not seen since the coronavirus pandemic erupted.

“This is setting itself up to be more of a normal flu season,”Lynnette Brammer, who is responsible for tracking flu-like symptoms for the public healthcare agency, said.

During this reporting period, 2 children died. Brammer stated that those deaths are “unfortunately what we would expect when flu activity picks up. It’s a sad reminder of how severe flu can be.”

During last year’s light flu season, one child died. One child died of flu in comparison to 199 and 144 children who died from the disease two years ago.

After almost disappearing last year, the virus is back. Omicron cases have been on the rise in the U.S. since then. According to health officials, the unusually low flu number is likely due to travel cancellations and shuttered schools.

With hospitals already filling with COVID-19 patients, it is imperative for Americans to get a flu shot and to take preventive measures, Brammer said.

“Cover your cough. Wash your hands. Stay home if you’re sick,”She spoke. “If you do get flu, there are antivirals you can talk to your doctor about that can prevent severe illness and help you stay out of the hospital.”

 

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