CDC Warns of Widespread Flu Activity

With strains of the flu already circulating, health organizations are warning of a particularly severe flu season. 49 states and Puerto Rico are already experiencing widespread flu activity according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.

“There is no good flu season, just different degrees of bad based on what flu viruses are circulating and how well the flu vaccine is protecting [people],” lead of CDC’s Domestic Influenza Surveillance team Lynnette Brammer said.

The season started last year with A and B strains of the flu appearing throughout the south from Texas to Georgia as early as late September 2019. Since then, the CDC reports say there has been 19-26 million flu illnesses.

In that same time frame, CDC estimates that there have been between 10,000 and 25,000 flu deaths. Flu activity has increased in the last two weeks but indicators of severity level are not yet considered to be high.
Houston area reports say that between Sept. 29 and Jan. 29, there were 205 pneumonia and influenza deaths in the area.

Texas Department of State Health Services released a report stating the flu activity throughout the counties for Jan. 25. Walker County was shown to use Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests to prove if cases are positive as early as possible. The county has positive cases that could be either A or B strains.

The CDC did answer if the recent vaccines on the market protect against every strain of flu viruses that is known. The vaccines on the market can protect against the A/H1 strain, but there does show to be a reduced protect to the B Victoria strain.

“A flu shot provides an added layer of protection and to me that is a huge reason to get vaccinated each year,” Brammer said.

Even if the vaccines on the market are weaker to some strains, experts still say that the best way to protect the community’s health is to get vaccinated at your local drug store or doctor.

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