Flu ‘aggregate speed’ across America as health officials and doctors prepare for a potentially rough season | CNN

CNN — U.S. health officials are increasingly concerned about this year’s flu season, and are already seeing signs that the virus is spreading. As the 2022-23 flu season kicks off, a high school in California is facing “many absences” from students due to a possible flu outbreak. Flu activity in the United States often begins to increase in October and usually peaks between December and February. San Diego Unified School District spokeswoman Samer Naji said in an email to CNN on Thursday that “we can confirm that there are a lot of absenteeism at Henry High School due to the possibility of influenza.” On Wednesday, there were about 1,000 absences out of 2,600 students. “So far, tests for COVID-19 have been negative, but some students have tested positive for the flu,” Naji said. “Typical signs and symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever and other symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. We are in close contact with the San Diego County Department of Public Health.” San Diego County Public Health Services is investigating a massive outbreak of respiratory and flu-like symptoms among students at Patrick Henry High School on Wednesday, adding that it is “too early” to determine the cause. I did. Other schools also evaluate the likelihood of a similar outbreak. “We are working with local school districts and checking with other school campuses to find out why so many students are suddenly affected,” Dr Cameron Kaiser, the county’s deputy director of public health, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we expected this to be an influenza season, and with COVID-19 other respiratory viruses are making a quick return,” said Kaiser. “If you haven’t already, now is the time to get your flu and COVID-19 shots to get the extra protection this vaccine provides.” Predicting what influenza activity will look like in a particular year can be tricky, but doctors are preparing for a “very important” flu season, said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director and professor of epidemiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. of the National Epidemic Foundation. “I am concerned that this year is going to be a very important influenza season that is very different from the previous two seasons,” he said. Signs of increased flu activity first appeared in the southern hemisphere this summer, and flu cases are being reported as more people in the northern hemisphere ease Covid-19 restrictions and return to socializing in large crowds without masks. It is unusual for such a widespread outbreak to occur so early in the flu season. “This is mid-October, not mid-November. There are already cases of influenza across the country, and there are even hospitalized cases,” says Schaffner, whose medical center at Vanderbilt University is part of a surveillance network. Tracks hospitalized flu cases. “So we know that this virus is already spreading through the community. It’s already speeding up. It seems like a month or so early,” Schaffner said. The flu almost disappeared from the United States in early 2020 when people started using quarantine, social distancing and masks to slow the spread of Covid-19. As a result, most people have not been exposed to influenza for several years. This means you may have low immunity to the flu virus, highlighting the need for vaccination. U.S. health officials are encouraging people to get a flu shot as soon as possible, said Adriane Casalotti, director of government and public affairs for the National Association of County and City Health Officials. “There is pressure right now to put flu vaccinations at the top of people’s priority lists. We all see what is happening in Australia’s Southern Hemisphere and are concerned that this year’s flu season can be really, really tough, to be honest,” Casalotti said. Concerns have grown as officials prepare this winter for a possible surge in COVID-19 and common respiratory viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. This virus is a leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children. Casalotti said the spread of influenza could have a significant impact on communities, especially since it can be difficult to distinguish flu symptoms from those of Covid-19, a cold or allergy. “We’ve already started having flu epidemics in some areas,” Casalotti said. “Overall, flu activity is low across the country, but ticks are starting, especially in the southeast.” With growing concerns about the upcoming flu season, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices released a report in August that updated this year’s seasonal flu vaccination recommendations. In general, older adults get a higher dose of flu vaccine than younger adults, but in the latest update, ACIP recommends that adults 65 years and older “prefer” a higher dose or a booster flu vaccine. “There are three influenza vaccines that have been shown to work better in people over the age of 65,” said Schaffner, ACIP’s liaison. “There is a high-dose vaccine, another vaccine with immunostimulants, and a third is a recombinant vaccine.” Recombinant flu vaccines do not contain flu viruses or eggs in their manufacturing process, he said. “Looking back last season, 80% of people over 65 were already receiving one of these three vaccines,” he said. ACIP made a differentiated preferential recommendation. In fact, if you are vaccinating the elderly over the age of 65, you should use one of these three vaccines first, and use the general vaccine only if you do not have one.” Overall, the CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months of age get the flu vaccine annually, especially for those of childbearing potential, because the vaccine provides protection not only for them but also for babies. “There are additional benefits.” “In other words, some of the antibodies produced in response to the vaccine cross the placenta and enter the newborn,” he said. You are protected.”

#Flu #aggregate #speed #America #health #officials #doctors #prepare #potentially #rough #season #CNN

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *