The 2020 Flu Season’s Delayed Start is Good News

Outpatient Influenza like Illness cases reported below the national baseline rate
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(Precision Vaccinations)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1.2% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network were due to influenza-like illness (ILI) during week #42. 

This ILI percentage is well below the national baseline rate of 2.6%.

‘While outpatient ILI activity remains low, many people are accessing the healthcare system in alternative settings. Therefore, traditional healthcare providers are not seeing increased numbers of cases of ILI,’ says the CDC.

And, based on mortality surveillance data available on October 22, 2020, the CDC reported 7.6% of the fatalities occurring during the week ending October 17, 2020 (week #42) were due to pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19.

Furthermore, due to the impact of COVID-19 on ILI surveillance, and the fact that the state and territorial epidemiologists report relies heavily on ILI activity, reporting for this system will be suspended for the 2020-21 influenza season, stated the CDC.

Additionally, the CDC reported (2) influenza-associated pediatric fatalities were reported during week #42. Both fatalities occurred during the 2019-2020 influenza season, bringing the total number of pediatric fatalities occurring during the 2019-2020 season is 194.

Influenza vaccines, known as flu shots, protect people against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. 

The CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza viruses annually.

The CDC estimates show that among children age 6 months to 17 years, flu vaccination coverage was nearly 64 percent for the 2019-2020 flu season, which was a slight increase from the previous season (63%). 

And flu vaccination among adults rose to 48 percent, although coverage was higher among older adults compared to younger adults.

The most common flu shot for the 2020-2021 influenza season in the Northern Hemisphere are quadrivalent vaccines that protect people against 4 viruses; influenza A (H1N1) virus, influenza A (H3N2) virus, and 2 influenza B viruses, said the CDC on August 21, 2020.

An updated listing of authorized flu vaccines is listed on this Precision Vaccinations webpage.

PrecisionVaccinations publishes research-based flu vaccine news.