COVID, flu spikes expected during holidays: CDC

A new variant and vaccine aversion could create problems going forward.

Look for flu and COVID-19 infections to ramp up in the coming weeks, U.S. health officials say, with increases fueled by holiday gatherings, too many unvaccinated people and a new version of the coronavirus that may be spreading more easily.

High levels of flu-like illnesses were reported last week in 17 states — up from 14 the week before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

“Folks are traveling a lot more this season. They want to see their families,” said the CDC’s Dr. Manisha Patel. “And all of that sort of adds to the mix” in the spread of viruses.

Health officials are keeping an eye on a version of the ever-evolving coronavirus, known as JN.1. The omicron variant was first detected in the U.S. in September and now accounts for an estimated 20% of cases. The CDC expects it to reach 50% in the next two weeks, Patel said.

It may spread easier or be better at evading our immune systems, but there is no evidence that the strain causes more severe disease than other recent variants, health officials say. And current evidence indicates vaccines and antiviral medications work against it.

As for flu, early signs suggest current vaccines are well-matched to the strain that is causing the most illnesses, and that strain usually doesn’t cause as many deaths and hospitalizations as some other versions.

But the bad news is vaccinations are down this year, officials say. About 42% of U.S. adults had gotten flu shots by the first week of December, down from about 45% at the same time last year, according to the CDC.

Americans have also been slow to get other vaccinations. Only about 18% have gotten an updated COVID-19 shot that became available in September. At nursing homes, about a third of residents are up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

The CDC last week took the unusual step of sending a health alert to U.S. doctors urging them to immunize their patients against the trio of viruses.

The Carolinas are currently seeing the heaviest traffic for respiratory infections in emergency rooms, according to CDC data posted this week.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Follow CDC

    December 23, 2023 at 4:44 pm

    Remember don’t waste our healthcare resources if you are high risk and not willing to get vaccinated. You only exhaust medical and nursing staff, increase healthcare costs, and insurance costs.

    • Dr. Franklin Waters

      December 23, 2023 at 5:14 pm

      I strongly believe that non-vaccinated people should go to the bottom of the wait list for any care, ICU space, hospital room space, or any other kind of health system resources.
      They had their chance, and it’s unfair to prioritize them now over other people who might also have a need for urgent medical attention.

    • Earl Pitts "The "REAL LEADER" of Our Great Nation" American

      December 23, 2023 at 6:39 pm

      Good evening America,
      Its too late in the election cycle to try another “Fake Covid Scamdimic” to have any effect on the failed DemonCratic parties ability to hold on to The White House. The House and Senate will also be purged from “Dook 4 Brains DemonCrat Politicians when their elections roll around.
      Join me, my Beloved American Patriots, in an Early “Victory Lap”, an Early “End Zone Spike The Ball”, along with an Early “End Zone Victory Dance” !!!!!
      We got this thanks to the “Incompentant, “Ineffictive”, and “Dook 4 Brains” Lazy Demoncrats.
      Thank you my Beloved American Patriots for “Staying The Course” for “Truth, Justice, And The Sage American Way.
      Earl Pitts American

  • Dont Say FLA

    December 23, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    Remember when they tell you it’s a hoax, believe them! LOFL.

  • Julia

    December 23, 2023 at 6:14 pm

    I just got paid 7268 Dollars Working off my Laptop this month. And if you think that’s cool, My Divorced friend has twin toddlers and made 0ver $ 13892 her first m0nth. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to as10 work for so much less.

    This is what I do……………………….> > >

  • My Take

    December 24, 2023 at 3:53 am

    “It’s just a cold” — Trump
    >1,000,000 AMERICANS DEAD !
    Trump is Scum.
    So is evrryone who still supports him.

Comments are closed.


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