Widespread Respiratory Illness Surge: 9 States Hit CDC’s Maximum Alert Level


More and more people across the country are getting respiratory illnesses like the flu, RSV, and COVID. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that more people with complaints are going to the doctor. And in just one week, the number of people who tested positive for the flu went up by 13%. This is not the first time someone has had coughing, fever, or phlegm.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States say that at least 5.3 million people have caught the flu this season, with 54,000 being treated and 3,200 dying. Furthermore, these numbers are rising, and by the middle of December, nine states had hit the CDC’s highest level of “very high” flu activity.

There were only two areas with a “very high” rating four weeks ago. Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and New York City (which posts health data separately from the rest of the state) were all in that group when the new data came out on Friday. There were a “high” number of illnesses in 14 more states and Washington, D.C.

The CDC looks at information from healthcare workers to figure out how many people are getting the flu in each state and compares that to the normal number of cases that happen outside of flu season. This information comes from the number of people who went to the doctor with flu-like symptoms like fevers, sore throats, or coughs. It’s not based on lab-confirmed cases of the flu, so it could include other respiratory illnesses like COVID or RSV. It could also miss people who stay home and try to get better without going to the doctor.

The CDC’s announcement came at a significant time, as states are already trying to deal with the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and seasonal flu cases. Multiple lung illnesses are on the rise at the same time, which is making things perfect. Resources are running out and healthcare workers are being pushed to their limits.

To fight the rise in illness, healthcare workers are stressing how important it is to get vaccinated, keep things clean, and educate the public. They tell people to get their shots on time, like the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine, because these are the best ways to keep yourself and others safe from getting very sick. Authorities in charge of health are also teaching people how to spot early warning signs and get medical help quickly.

Simple things like washing your hands daily, wearing masks in busy places, and staying away from sick people can help stop the spread of infections. This has also brought back calls for a strong public health system and being ready. Some experts say that this situation shows how important it is to have better surveillance systems, quick response teams, and public education campaigns in order to handle health emergencies effectively.

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