You know all those questions about whether you should wait until a few weeks before flu season starts to get vaccinated against the flu? Well, forget the wait. The flu season has already arrived in the U.S., this year starting over a month earlier than usual. And there are signs that the coming months could be a big flu you to America. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report called Fluview, this season has had at least 880,000 flu illnesses, 6,900 flu-related hospitalizations, and 360 flu-related deaths including one child to date in the U.S. Such numbers far exceed the numbers seen at the same time of the year in 2021 and 2020. In fact, the cumulative hospitalization rate for this past week—the 42nd week of 2022—-has been higher than the rate for the 42nd week of any year since 2010.
Angela Rasmussen, PhD, a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, tweeted about this bad start to the flu season—bad if you are human but good if you are the influenza virus: