CDC director urges vaccination amid record high reports of flu, RSV

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warned of extremely high levels of respiratory illness in the U.S. on Monday, particularly flu hospitalizations, and made another call for people to stay up to date on their vaccinations. In a briefing, Walensky said the U.S. is seeing elevated levels of COVID-19, … Read more

44 states experiencing high levels of respiratory illness

Respiratory illness is on the rise across the United States, with 44 states now experiencing high levels amid a worsening flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 31 U.S. jurisdictions, which includes territories and Washington, D.C., had “very high” levels of respiratory illness and 16 jurisdictions had “high” levels last … Read more

Flu Season Raged Over Thanksgiving

Editor’s note: See cold and flu activity in your location with the WebMD tracker.  Dec. 2, 2022 – The flu virus made the most of the Thanksgiving holiday by reaching the highest level of national activity seen since the 2017-18 influenza season, according to the CDC.  The biggest 1-week increase in what is becoming an unprecedented … Read more

U.S. Flu Activity Already at Mid-Season Levels

Nov. 29, 2022 – Reports of respiratory illness continued to rise as the 2022-23 flu season maintained its early surge through mid-November, according to the CDC.  Nationally, 6% of all outpatient visits were because of flu or flu-like illness for the week of Nov. 13-19, up from 5.8% the previous week, the CDC’s Influenza Division … Read more

White House resists declaring emergency as flu, viruses surge in children

The White House is resisting calls from pediatric health groups to declare a national emergency due to the early surge in respiratory illness in children.  As seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), coronavirus and other respiratory viruses swarm the country, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association argue an emergency declaration, which … Read more

Will Flu and RSV Always Be This Bad?

In the Northern Hemisphere, this year’s winter hasn’t yet begun. But Melissa J. Sacco, a pediatric-intensive-care specialist at UVA Health, is already dreading the arrival of the one that could follow. For months, the ICU where Sacco works has been overflowing with children amid an early-arriving surge of respiratory infections. Across the country, viruses such … Read more

Is It a Surge? Flu Season Gains Strength Before Holidays

Editor’s note: See cold and flu activity in your location with the WebMD tracker.  Nov. 21, 2022 — The 2022-2023 flu season continues its early start as respiratory illness activity climbed to levels typically seen in January or February, according to a new report from the CDC.  One important measure of the season’s severity, the proportion of … Read more

Is It RSV, COVID, the Flu or the Common Cold?

Editor’s note: See cold and flu activity in your location with the WebMD tracker.  Nov. 17, 2022 – The overlapping symptoms of respiratory viruses with household names – COVID-19, the flu, the common cold, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) – can make it challenging to tell them apart.  But how quickly the symptoms come on, how … Read more

Pediatric health groups call for national emergency to fight respiratory illnesses

Pediatric health provider groups are calling on the Biden administration to declare a national emergency to help them combat the surge of hospitalizations due to respiratory illnesses in children. Seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and other respiratory viruses are hitting young children especially hard this year. The resulting hospitalizations are putting an immense strain … Read more

Pfizer testing combined COVID, flu vaccine

Pfizer and BioNTech have launched a Phase 1 trial for an mRNA-based vaccine that would target both COVID-19 and the influenza virus. According to BioNTech, the vaccine candidate is a combination of Pfizer’s flu vaccine candidate, which is in Phase 3 clinical development, and the company’s bivalent omicron-specific coronavirus vaccine dose. The study includes 180 … Read more