A late flu outbreak is about to hit hard, CDC warns: ‘Mild’ season is turning rampant as a deadly secondary virus emerges
- 1 in 20 doctor visits last week were for the flu – a very high rate for this time of year
- Flu rates are now high in 33 states, with around 19,000 confirmed deaths, including 158 children
- Until now, the dominant strain has been H1N1, but more and more cases are being caused by the more aggressive H3N2
This flu season seemed incredibly mild compared to last year’s.
In 2017-2018, more than 80,000 Americans – more fatalities in a few months than the entire death toll from the Vietnam war.
Most of those happened in the first three months, leveling off at the start of March last year.
But emerging data, revealed today by health officials, suggest the second half of this season may be more aggressive, and it’s only just beginning.
Last week, one in 20 doctor visits nationwide were related to the flu – a very high rate for this time of year, eclipsing every other year on record except for last season.
The latest CDC report for flu rates last week show rates are high across the country
Flu rates are now high in 33 states, with around 19,000 confirmed deaths, including 158 children, the CDC’s weekly report showed on Friday.
Until now, the dominant strain has been H1N1, which is much more mild than last year’s H3N2, which killed 80,000 Americans.
But every year there are secondary waves of flu strains in the latter half of flu season – from around March.
Tests suggest that this year, H3N2 is emerging as a secondary strain, accounting for almost half of all new diagnoses, according to the CDC.
It’s yet another reason to get a flu shot, even this late in the season, CDC officials said.