The influenza season may yet turn ugly, CDC warns

Recent CDC data indicate that this year's influenza season could become bad. Widespread influenza activity was reported by health departments in 46 states as of the last week of December.

Recent CDC data indicate that this year's influenza season could become bad. Widespread influenza activity was reported by health departments in 46 states as of the last week of December. Furthermore, the percentage of patients with influenza symptoms visiting medical clinics increased nearly as high as the peak seen in the 2017–18 season, which was the highest in a decade. Lynnette Brammer, head of CDC's domestic influenza surveillance team, notes that it is still too soon to know how severe this influenza season will be. Two key indicators of severity—hospitalizations and deaths—are not elevated yet, she says. Experts note that although this year's season influenza vaccine may not be particularly effective against the strain of virus now widespread in the country, it is still important to get vaccinated. The vaccine does still appear to be well matched for the A(H1N1)pdm09 strain, and people who are vaccinated tend to fare better if they do come down with influenza compared with those who are not vaccinated.