As the nation gets ready for what may be a very bad season, influenza diagnoses are increasing in the United States.
The latest date for which statistics are available is October 1, and during that week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received reports of 969 cases of influenza A and 52 instances of influenza B.
Researchers are developing a flu and COVID-19 vaccine, but don't anticipate it this autumn.
Additionally, throughout that time the percent positive rate increased from 0.49 to 2.5%.
When attempting to forecast the U.S. flu season, researchers and modellers frequently go to the southern hemisphere, which normally experiences its flu season from May to October.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, recommended Americans ages 6 months and older to have a flu vaccination by the end of October last week.
She noted at a news conference that "during the past two years, we've observed some worrying declines in flu vaccine coverage, especially in those categories of people who are at the highest risk of acquiring serious flu disease."
The CDC released a study detailing the decline in flu vaccine uptake earlier this year. Some of the explanations suggested include individuals being confused about how the COVID-19 vaccinations protect against the flu, less people visiting vaccine providers during the pandemic, and fewer flu vaccination clinics available than in previous years.
More than 120,000 outpatient visits for influenza-like illnesses were made by children aged 4 and under during the week ending October 1, a 25.5% increase from the nearly 95,600 visits made by this age group during the week ending August 6.
After few to no flu infections were reported during the previous two years, the CDC previously issued a warning that the U.S. may experience a severe flu season. On a state level, similar patterns are being seen.