The flu is hitting the US hard, with 880,000 cases of lab-confirmed influenza illness, 6,900 hospitalisations, and 360 flu-related deaths recorded in the nation this year.
According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the last year there was a comparable flu "burden" was 2009 during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic. The flu burden is a metric used by the CDC to determine the severity of the flu.
“It’s unusual, but we’re coming out of an unusual covid pandemic that has really affected influenza and other respiratory viruses that are circulating,”Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist who heads the CDC’s domestic influenza surveillance team, told The Washington Post.
The extent of the extant infections is unusual considering the flu season generally begins in October.