Where in the World is Influenza?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the latest Influenza Surveillance reported on July 9, 2021, without much new news. Nationwide during Week #26, 1.2% of patient visits reported were due to Influenza-like Illness. This percentage is below the national baseline of 2.6% for this time of year.
According to the CDC, mortality surveillance data available on July 8, 2021, 6.2% of the deaths that occurred during the week ending July 3, 2021 (week 26) were due to pneumonia, influenza, and/or COVID-19 (PIC).
Among the 971 PIC deaths reported to the CDC, 333 had COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death on the death certificate. None listed influenza, indicating that current PIC mortality is due primarily to COVID-19 and not influenza.
In addition, only (1) influenza-associated pediatric death occurred during the 2020-2021 flu season—this data contrasts with the last flu season when (199) pediatric deaths were reported.
Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported similar news regarding influenza.
The WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System laboratories tested more than 146,816 specimens and found only 766 specimens positive for influenza viruses as of July 5, 2021. And in many areas of the world, no influenza detections were reported.
The good news is influenza vaccines for the 2021-2022 flu season in the Northern Hemisphere will soon become available in most pharmacies, health clinics, and hospitals. Over 193 million flu shots have been produced to protect people from the various influenza viruses. The CDC suggests most people 6-months of age and above get an annual flu shot.
An updated listing of authorized flu shots is published on this webpage.