Oct, 2022 - By WMR
This autumn, doctors and public health authorities are closely monitoring flu infections in the United States because of worry that the virus may spread quickly, especially among children.
One particular group that frequently avoids the worst of it could be hardest harmed.
Because the influenza season in the Northern Hemisphere frequently resembles that in the Southern Hemisphere, American scientists turn south for indicators of how the upcoming flu season may pan out.
The flu season in Australia this summer, which took place during its winter, was also shorter than usual. Hospitalizations and fatalities were not rare, but flu cases peaked sooner and more often. Oddly, young people, who often recover from the flu well, took the brunt of the illness. According to a report from the Australian government released on October 9, the majority of recorded flu cases affected children and adolescents aged 0 to 14.
Dr. Sarah Combs, an emergency medicine specialist at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C., told Fortune that the Australian flu season was particularly hard on kids
Children's National has already noticed a sharp rise in flu cases, with the number of positive tests tripling weekly since early October. Even while the hospital has only treated 80 flu cases since July, she noted that this is still a significant number—"and we're not even into winter." According to the NPR-affiliated station in Washington, D.C., many children's hospitals in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., including Children's National, were running at or close to capacity this week.
Since September, there has been a steady increase in the number of confirmed flu cases reported to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases often don't start to increase until October.
Nearly 400 flu virus samples gathered since May have had their genetic makeup analysed by the CDC. The agency's findings show that more than half happened in people between the ages of 0 and 24.