Mild Flu Season Reported by the U.S. CDC
Recent reports from various health agencies confirmed the 2023-2024 flu season is off to a slow start in the Northern Hemisphere.
This follows a de minimus flu season in the Southern Hemisphere in countries such as Australia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today that seasonal influenza activity remains low nationally.
As of October 27, 2023, outpatient respiratory illness is below baseline, and all 10 HHS regions are below their respective baselines.
Additionally, the number of flu hospital admissions remains low, but there were 20 influenza-related deaths last week.
The good news is there have been no influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurring during the 2023-2024 season.
Of the flu-related deaths reported by the National Center for Health Statistics from October 2, 2022, to September 9, 2023, 9,697 (4%) listed influenza.
From a regional perspective, the Walgreens Flu Index® map was updated on October 21, 2023, highlighting local flu activity in the U.S.
The leading cities currently reporting flu cases are primarily in Texas:
- Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas
- Lafayette, La.
- Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
- Puerto Rico
- New Orleans, La.
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Houston, Texas
Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that in the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, indicators of influenza activity were reported at low levels or below the seasonal threshold in most reporting countries.
However, increased influenza activity was reported in Eastern and Western Asia.
Virus detections were predominantly influenza A(H3N2) followed by influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and B viruses.
Both the CDC and WHO encourage most people to get an annual influenza vaccination before the flu season starts in their local community.
As of October 14, 2023, 136.94 million flu shots have been distributed in the U.S., which are generally available at health clinics and pharmacies.