Flu Season 2023 Turns the South Red
While the global flu season has not been very severe, recent data indicates the southern United States is experiencing a sudden spike in influenza cases.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during week #45, 3.5% of patient visits reported were due to respiratory illness that included fever plus a cough or sore throat.
As of November 17, 2023, the regions with the highest percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza were Regions 8 (7.4%), 4 (7.0%), 6 (6.5%) and 9 (5.3%).
For regional and state-level data and age group distribution, please visit FluView Interactive.
From a severity perspective, the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance confirmed that during week #44, 21 people died from influenza.
Previously, influenza deaths were reported during weeks #43 (32) and #42 (43).
Furthermore, one influenza-associated pediatric death occurring during the 2023-2024 season has been reported to the CDC.
The CDC continues recommending most people over six months of age get an annual flu vaccine.
From an availability perspective, over 147 million flu vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. Various flu shots are available at clinics and pharmacies in the U.S.