RSV and flu cases fall in US, triple pandemic has ‘peaked’
America’s dreaded “triple disease” appears to be short-lived as weekly flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) numbers are already declining.
Today’s weekly flu report shows that in the week ending December 10, there were just over 30,000 confirmed flu infections nationwide.
While that’s preliminary data, it’s a 30 percent drop from the previous week and the first drop in cases since the flu season began.
Meanwhile, said Dr. Ashish Jha at a White House news conference on Thursday that RSV infections had already peaked and the numbers were falling “quite quickly”.
The news will come as a relief as Covid could appear to be on the rise again and a new disease is emerging with an outbreak of the bacterial infection Strep A.
Flu cases fell 30 percent week-on-week, from 43,960 last week to 31,287 this week. It is another signal that America’s “triple disease” has peaked
RSV cases continued to decline in the last CDC update. The nation recorded 4,391 new infections in the week ended December 10, its lowest total since late September
Fears of a so-called “triple pandemic” first surfaced in the summer, when Australia and New Zealand — whose winters fall during the American summer — suffered from devastating flu seasons.
Experts have pointed to lockdowns, mask requirements and other pandemic orders over the past two years as a reason this year’s flu season has been more brutal than previous ones.
This is the worst flu season America has seen since the swine flu pandemic of 2009 – and experts have been warning for months it would be a long and severe winter.
At one point earlier this month, hospitals were at their fullest levels during the pandemic.
In Los Angeles, New York City and some parts of Washington state, officials even recommended the return of masks in indoor public places.
The latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows there were 31,287 cases of the flu last week — a massive underestimate given that many cases go undetected as Americans weather symptoms of the virus at home.
The CDC reports that 25.4 percent of flu tests came back positive last week, up from a week earlier.
In the week ended December 3, a new seasonal high of 43,960 flu cases was confirmed in the US.
The flu does not pose a threat to the majority of Americans, but it can commonly affect the elderly, young children, and those with compromised immune systems.
Last week, CDC officials announced there had been 9 million confirmed cases of the flu, 7,800 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths from the annual virus this season.
The spread of the virus has slowed in recent weeks. From the week of October 15 to the week of November 12, flu infections in America increased seven-fold, from 2,716 to 19,288 weekly.
Over the past month, from November 12 to December 10, cases increased by 62 percent.
Cases rose 48 percent week-over-week from November 19 to 26, from 25,990 to 37,280 confirmed.
However, the growth in cases slowed in late November, rising just 16 percent to 43,960 for the week ended December 3.
The CDC estimates that only half of US states have high levels of flu activity, compared to 44 out of 50 two weeks ago.
The CDC reports that 25 states are recording “very high” flu counts and eight states have reached the highest level tracked by the agency
The CDC reports that eight states suffer from the highest levels of activity: Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington. Last week, 10 states met the criteria.
The flu wasn’t the only annual virus to reemerge this fall, only to be in decline again after a peak in late fall.
The CDC recorded 4,391 new RSV cases in the week ended December 10, down 63 percent from the previous week.
The CDC is urging people to wear masks over Christmas to stop the spread of FLU and RSV
America’s top public health officials are now recommending masking to prevent the spread of RSV and the flu this winter – not just Covid.
dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a briefing last week, “We also encourage you to wear a quality, well-fitting mask to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease.” Prevention measures for influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
It comes as almost every state in America is recording “very high” flu levels as a lockdown-induced resurgence of respiratory viruses hits the US this fall. The CDC is reporting 9 million flu infections and 4,500 deaths from the virus this flu season — with the worst expected in the coming weeks. The typical flu season lasts from October to May each year.
Experts have traced the deadly flu outbreak to lockdowns, mask requirements and social distancing orders during the Covid pandemic that have left the US population “immune-naïve” as they have been deprived of vital exposure to healthy germs.
It’s the first week with fewer than 10,000 confirmed cases since the week ending October 15 and the lowest since late September.
These are preliminary numbers. It’s likely that the CDC will increase the number of confirmed RSV cases in future reports starting this week.
The virus does not pose a major threat to adults, but it can cause serious illness or even death in young children.
Officials report that about 300 to 500 children will die from the virus each year.
It’s been running out of breath in recent weeks, and officials are beginning to reassure Americans that RSV shouldn’t pose as much of a threat anytime soon.
dr Ashish Jha, the White House Covid response coordinator, said during a Thursday briefing that RSV was “undoubtedly” starting to decline.
His feelings match those of Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, who said the RSV started to burn out during a briefing last week.
However, Covid is starting to rise in place of the two annual viruses. The US is seeing an average of 64,889 daily infections, up 33 percent over the past two weeks.
Though the number still dwarfs the 160,000 cases averaged around this time last year, officials fear it could be a signal the virus is making a resurgence just before the holidays.
America is also suffering 373 deaths a day from Covid, a 50 percent increase in two weeks.
A deadly Strep A wave has erupted in America, adding another potential hazard to the mix.
The nation has recorded two pediatric deaths in Colorado from the bacterial infection.
Hospitals in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Washington and West Virginia are also reporting abnormally high rates of the disease.
It follows an outbreak in the UK that has killed 19 children so far – significantly more than usual at this time of year.
The drop in flu and RSV comes as some officials are using the respiratory illness as a reason to bring masks back.
Last week, health officials from 12 Washington state counties — including King County in Seattle — signed a letter urging residents to wear masks indoors.
On Friday last week, the New York City Health Department did the same, issuing a recommendation to dress up in indoor public places, including the subway and the gym.
Then Los Angeles officials also issued a recommendation for indoor masks over the weekend.
However, none of these are mask mandates, and the 20 million Americans living in affected areas will not be forced to dress up indoors.
In Philadelphia, school district officials announced Wednesday that schools will be required to wear masks from Jan. 3-13 — the first 10 days after winter vacation.
This autumn’s rise in respiratory viruses has been attributed to an “immunity gap” thought to have built up during the pandemic when Covid restrictions ruled out seasonal bugs.
Experts say these types of mask recommendations and other pandemic-related orders likely played a role in this recent surge in viral illnesses.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-11547143/RSV-flu-cases-falling-tripledemic-peaked.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 RSV and flu cases fall in US, triple pandemic has ‘peaked’