Flu and COVID-19 Infections Tick Up in the United States

Flu and COVID-19 Infections Tick Up in the United States
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6 December 2023
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The United States is experiencing increasing flu and COVID-19 infections nationwide, with elevated respiratory illnesses particularly among young children.

About 10 percent COVID-19 tests reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were positive during the latest week ending Nov. 25.

Emergency department visits diagnosed as COVID-19 increased by over 10 percent in the latest week compared with a week before. Hospital admissions for COVID reached nearly 20,000 for the week ending Nov. 25, marking a 10 percent jump.

COVID continued to cause the most hospitalizations and deaths among respiratory illnesses -- about 15,000 hospitalizations and about 1,000 deaths every week, said CDC Director Mandy Cohen.

Meanwhile, flu rates have been climbing, with a 6 percent test positivity rate nationwide and 4,268 hospitalizations for the week ending Nov. 25, according to CDC data.

Eight children have died due to flu-related causes so far this season, as have about 1,100 adults. Seasonal influenza activity continued to increase in most parts of the country, most notably in the South Central, Southeast, Mountain, and West Coast regions.

Emergency department visits and hospitalizations caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) continued to increase across the country. RSV-associated hospitalization rates remained elevated among young children and increased among older adults.

RSV is a highly contagious virus that causes infections of the lungs and breathing passages in individuals of all age groups. In older adults, RSV is a common cause of lower respiratory tract disease, which affects the lungs and can cause life-threatening pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

CDC has been monitoring increases in respiratory illness reported recently among children, including potential elevated rates of pediatric pneumonia in parts of the United States. The agency recommends that people ages 6 months and older get both a flu and COVID vaccine, to protect against the most serious health effects of fall and winter viruses.

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