Bad news: flu deaths are up more than 65% so far in 2020, with CDC reporting 4,800 people dead and 87,000 people hospitalized during the 2019-2020 flu season.
Good news: visits to health care providers for the flu decreased for the week ending Jan 4, which may indicate the peak of the flu season had passed.
Bad news again: experts warned that although flu activity fell last week, it’s too early to say the worst is over.
Conclusion: you still need to take it seriously.
“Don’t make any conclusions about a single dip,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, because even with the dip, flu activity is still high in the US. CDC reported that flu activity last week was significantly worse than the worst week in the previous flu season.
The fall in flu activity in the first week in 2020 may be due to the holiday. According to research, flu activity doesn’t go smoothly during holidays because people, especially kids, tend to stay at home instead of going work or school.
"It's going to be really important to see in the next couple of weeks, do we start going back up again as the children go back to school," said Lynnette Brammer, team lead of the CDC's domestic influenza surveillance team.
If you experience flu symptoms, doctors recommend staying home from work and other public places to avoid transmitting the disease to others. Meanwhile, wash your hands often and avoid others who are ill.
“Before going to your doctor’s office, call,” said Dr. Jessica Grayson, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, “They may have a different waiting room for those who are sick.”
Check out here about protections avoid flu here: ALL You Need to Know about 2019-2020 FLU Season.
In this flu season, take care of yourself and your loved ones, and it’s not late to get a flu shot NOW if you haven’t got one yet.