Flu hospitalization rates double and Strep A increases in the US
When the COVID-19 pandemic started back in 2020, it seemed that no disease was spreading other than the one that had the world on edge. But with the advance of the fight against Covid, previously common diseases are resurfacing and gaining global attention.
Below we will give you an update on the impact of the flu in the USA. In addition, we’ll see what is happening with Strep A in the UK and US.
Flu hospitalizations in the US are raising alarms
The US is experiencing its earliest and most severe flu season in history, according to the CDC.
So far in this US flu season, nearly 9 million flu cases have been reported, with 4,500 fatal infections. According to experts, older patients should take extra precaution as they’re at higher risk of severe infection.
You should also be cautious of infections in children. Since October 2022, there have been 14 flu-related infant deaths in the US.It’s important to mention that the US flu season usually starts in December. But this year the number of cases was already considerably high in October.
Moreover, flu hospitalizations almost doubled over Thanksgiving week: 19,593 compared to 11,378 the week before. And, according to reports, most flu patients were ages 65 or older.
According to the CDC, the flu is spreading at elevated levels in 45 states.
Furthermore, the influx of serious flu patients has converged with COVID and RSV, worsening the situation.
Vaccination rates and news
Regarding vaccinations, the CDC warned of a 12% decline in flu vaccination rates among pregnant women compared to last year. This is concerning since they are also at higher risk of severe infection.
Meanwhile, there is no data available regarding vaccine effectiveness against current strains.
Strep A in the US and UK
In addition to increasing flu hospitalizations in the US, children in London have been contracting an invasive strain of Strep A. Doctors worry about the National Health Service’s (NHS) capacity to handle it. But how alarming is the situation and should the US worry?
The short answer is yes. In the US, the CDC is investigating a possible increase in invasive group Strep A (iGAS) infections among children in the United States. iGAS infections include necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
Nonetheless, it’s fair to mention that in the US, seven fatal cases of Strep A have been confirmed this year, all in children under 12 years of age.
Expert recommendations for fighting Strep A
Strep A is a bacterial throat infection that can rarely lead to serious illness. However, If you have children, you should be careful.
Parents should watch for symptoms and take action if their child exhibits:
- Continued elevated temperatures
- Not eating or drinking as usual
- Lack of urination
- Breathing difficulties (you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs)
- Pauses when the child breathes
- Blue skin, tongue, or lips
Get tested and minimize the impact of infection
Recent US increases in respiratory infections suggests that Covid is not the only thing you should be cautious about this holiday season. Flu hospitalizations and Strep A infections are raising alarms across the nation.
Did you know that Covid Clinic offers combination testing? That’s right– we offer testing for COVID-19, RSV, and the Flu. Testing is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Get Tested! Let’s help minimize the impact and spread.
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