(Fear Mongering) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 8% of Americans are sickened by the flu each year and that thousands die from the flu and related illnesses. The CDC doesn’t like to forecast whether the coming season will be relatively harsh or not, but the agency says the impact will be lessened greatly if people get vaccinated – and soonest is best.
The season generally starts in October and peaks in February before winding down with spring.
“Now is the best time to get your flu shot,” CDC press officer Scott Pauley told USA TODAY. “You want to get it before the season really starts.”
In Australia, the flu season is winding down. Ogbonnaya Omenka, an associate professor and public health specialist at Butler University, says the number of confirmed flu cases there was the highest in history – more than 270,000, compared to almost 60,000 in 2018.
That may not bode well for the U.S., he says.
“It definitely is concerning because the U.S. flu season comes after Australia’s,” he said. He added that a U.S. child who tested positive for influenza died earlier this month.