20200515F Santa Cruz, CA: Back in December, I was in Austin. My beloved flew in for the holidays. We walked along Lady Bird Lake during the day. It was a beautiful sunny day.
Meanwhile, the press was reporting on how this flu season was turning out different than past flu seasons. I’m not sure who decided that the unusual flu season would be the focus of the news and medical press on this day. Here is an article that caught my eye:
Rare B Flu Strain Causing Early Surge This Season from passporthealthusa.com
Here are some quotes of interest:
Dave Osthus is a statistician and flu forecaster at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Osthus explained that the current “2019/20 season is already worse than three of the past 20 flu seasons ever were, and the worst part of the flu season—historically late December through early March—hasn’t happened yet.”
especially this one ending with “worst than imagined”:
Looking at the influenza trends, the CDC was able to publicize that the flu season has “about a 40% chance of a peak in late December, a 30% chance of a peak in January, and a 25% chance of a peak in February.” These numbers may change as the season continues, but the outcome will remain the same or even become worse than imagined.
Looking back in time, it was reported in May that the 2018-2019 flu season was also “unusual”:
The just-ended 2018-2019 flu season was relatively mild compared to the last season, during which nearly 80,000 people in the U.S. died of flu-related illness.
The 2018-2019 season has been unusual, though, because the flu came in two waves: one that peaked at the end of December, and a second that peaked in early March.
It seems that “unusual” flu seasons will be the usual for the foreseeable future.