The 2022 flu season isn’t over yet, a second surge may come soon
Cases in the United States have been quite low for the 2022 flu season, but health officials aren’t yet ready to declare it as over. Since the start of the new year, flu test results and flu-like illnesses have been down, yet it’s still possible that we may see a spike through February and going into May.
Due to changes in the pandemic, more and more people are becoming less cautious which results in less usage of face masks. The masks were a leading cause of low flu rates this past 2022 flu season, and a simple change of demasking can raise an opportunity for flu or other respiratory viruses to surge.
According to the CDC, overall flu activity in the United States is still relatively low but more than 90% of the cases have been amongst children and young adults aged 5 through 24. Most of those cases are from the H3N2 lineage, which is a strain that mutates faster than other types of influenza. H3N2 was the dominant strain during the 2017-18 flu season, which witnessed 710,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 52,000 flu-related fatalities in the US, the highest number since the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic.
The flu outbreak a few months back in November at the University of Michigan caused a major concern as more than 700 cases were reported of the Type A H3N2. The variant issued more hospitalizations and deaths among the elderly, and even spread amongst kids who were already vaccinated with flu shots.
Given the unpredictable nature of viruses, it’s always better to be safer than sorry. Make sure to take caution during this 2022 flu season and practice sanitizing or even take the shot. Flu shot effectiveness can range from season to season, but the overall risk is decreased by 40% to 60% on average. Those who take the flu shot can expect it to assist and prevent the most severe symptoms and complications, as well as hospitalization and death.