In January, it was reported that about 6 to 7 million people in America had been sickened by the flu. It was still not expected that the flu season would be this lengthy until in February, when another wave hit, making the season the longest in 20 years since the government started keeping a track on the influenza virus.
Two-Wave Flu Season In The US
The stuffy feeling in your head and nasal passage as if clouds of snot have filled your face up is about to come to an end after a long flu season. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that this year’s flu attack is the longest in a long time.
Though not as severe as last year’s 19-week long flu season, this one has broken the record for being the longest in 10 years. Perhaps it is that two different flu seasons have visited this year back to back and are making it seem like it’s a single long season.
The first wave of flu hit with the start of Thanksgiving as it typically does. It was predicted to be mild as well as brief but then came the second wave that has stretched the flu season to 21 weeks. The last longest flu season was in 2014-15 when it had lasted for 20 weeks.
Influenza, which is caused because of a virus, can be a relatively milder illness for most but for some, it can be pretty severe. Flu affects the nose, throat and lungs and is different than the common cold. It is often accompanied by symptoms such as chills and throat ache, etc.
The aged and young children are the most at risk of getting flu and its complications. The first flu wave didn’t lead many people to the hospital and was easily controlled by vaccines. However, the strain which hit mid-February proved to be of the nasty kind as it has been causing more illnesses and hospitalizations.
The virus causing this second wave is more resistant as well. However, keeping in view that last year’s flu season killed 80,000 Americans, this one has been comparatively milder with deaths in the bracket of 35,000 to 55,000. Last year’s flu season gained a reputation for being the deadliest in not two but 4 decades.
Flu, which is contagious, has complications which are responsible for deaths. The most common one of these is the difficulty in breathing that the bacterial infection or bacterial pneumonia causes which, in turn, can make the lungs struggle in getting oxygen for the body.
Another complication is sepsis which can also lead to death. Experts predict that the season of this respiratory illness is soon to come to an end. Some ways to prevent the illness apart from getting vaccinated include avoiding touching public things, staying hydrated, sleeping well, washing hands frequently, and not sharing utensils.