2020 Flu Season Looking Painfully Bad
Posted Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 5:17 pm
By Laura Coleman
Offering cramping, sweats, fever, exhaustion, and perhaps the dreaded vomiting, the influenza is an harbinger of many things, none of them pleasant. Experts are now predicting that this season’s flu epidemic may be one of the worst on record if infections continue at the current rate.
Heading into the new year, the California Department of Public Health stated that influenza activity had reached “widespread” levels and was continuing to increase. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now estimates that so far this season there have been at least 9.7 million flu illnesses, 87,000 hospitalizations and 4,800 deaths from flu. Compare those numbers to the 171.7 million doses of flu vaccine that have been distributed, according to the CDC, which states: “The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year.”
Medical Director of Hospital Epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai Jonathan Grein, MD, told the Courier this week that the hospital had witnessed “a sharp uptick in influenza activity” over the last two to three weeks, which he said was in line with what’s being reported nationally.