Here’s How Many Americans Have Had the Flu So Far This Year, the CDC Says

Updated: Nov. 08, 2022

Flu infection rates in 2022 from an insider with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This flu season was projected to be a tough one. While it’s definitely not too late to get your flu shot, 2022 data from Australia’s earlier flu season indicated that North America could see some of the worst flu infection rates in years.

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As chilly weather shuffles us indoors and crowds begin to gather for events like mid-term Election Day, gift shopping and holiday gatherings, a representative for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a live update on the real-time status of flu trends on November 8, which falls within week 43 of 2022.

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Flu facts from the CDC on November 8, 2022:

  1. Influenza activity continues to increase. The CDC estimates that, so far this season, there have been at least 1,600,000 illnesses, 13,000 hospitalizations, and 730 deaths from flu.
  2. The second pediatric death of the 2022-23 influenza season was reported this week.
  3. The highest levels of flu activity are occurring in the Southeast and South-Central United States, followed by the Mid-Atlantic and south-central West Coast.
  4. The New Mexico Department of Health reported one human infection with a novel influenza A virus.
  5. The cumulative hospitalization rate is higher than the rate observed in week 43 during every previous season since the 2010-2011 flu season.
  6. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against flu. Vaccination helps prevent infection and can also prevent serious outcomes in people who get vaccinated but still get sick with flu.
  7. CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get a flu vaccine annually.
  8. There are also prescription flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness; those need to be started as early as possible.

Says Dr. Alicia Fry, Branch Chief Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, Influenza Division, CDC “Getting vaccinated is beneficial any time flu viruses are spreading, or may spread, in your community, which is usually October through May in the United States. It’s particularly important if you or a loved one are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications. This includes children younger than five years old, pregnant people, adults 65 years and older, and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.”

Also, if you’re doing all you can to stay safe, wash your hands frequently and don’t underestimate the power of a face mask in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses.

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