CDC: Flu activity is "unusually low" this year

by Jordyn Pair · Feb 19th, 2021 9:48 am
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Last Updated Feb 24th, 2021 at 6:52 am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the current flu season has seen an "unusually low" number of influenza-related hospitalizations.

The CDC said there were 165 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations between October 1, 2020, and February 6, 2021, "for an overall cumulative hospitalization rate of 0.6 per 100,000 population."

The health agency said that the number is lower than average "for this point in the season," as well as lower than the rates for any season since it began collecting influenza data in 2005.

For the 2019 to 2020 flu season, the CDC said that there were roughly 39-56 million flue cases, 18-26 million medical visits, 410,000-740,000 hospitalizations, and 24,000-64,000 deaths.

Some experts are attributing the low numbers to most students being in virtual education due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Children are generally thought of as having the distribution franchise for the influenza virus," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University. "They produce much more virus, they shed more virus for longer periods of time."


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