Patient Safety | 10.06.21
CDC Director Warns the U.S. Is at Risk of a Severe Influenza Season This Year
Influenza officials at the CDC are worried the United States could be at risk for a severe flu season this year. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky warns that the U.S. population may have reduced immunity against influenza after seasonal cases reached record lows last year, when major portions of the country were shut down and COVID-19 prevention protocols were in place. Based on data reported to CDC, there were roughly 2,000 influenza cases during the previous influenza season versus an estimated 35 million cases during the 2019-20 season. Walensky urged Americans to get vaccinated against both influenza and COVID-19. An increase in flu infections this winter could place additional strain on the nation's health care system. Walensky added, "We continue to see many hospitals and intensive care units across the country at full capacity. Each year in the United States, influenza can claim between 12,000 and 52,000 lives and result in 140,000 to 710,000 hospitalizations."