The flu is out in force. And so far this season, it’s been hitting children the hardest.
Influenza is a wily virus—it’s almost impossible to predict where and how it will strike as it circumnavigates the globe. There are, however, some patterns that routinely occur, allowing investigators and public health agencies to sometimes anticipate what lies ahead.
This is not one of those times.
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said flu-like symptoms started spurring higher than normal doctor visits in the U.S. in early November—weeks earlier than other recent flu seasons.
The disease has also shown up in and shut down elementary schools across the South and West, in states such as Texas, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska. Much of the Northeast, a traditional hotbed for flu-induced misery, remains largely unscathed for now.
At the same time, the severity of this year’s flu has been comparatively low. The number of people dying from pneumonia and influenza during the first week of December was substantially lower than the 6.4% threshold used to declare a flu epidemic at this time of year.
Read more about the flu season, and how you can protect your children on the Bloomberg website HERE