The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the first FluView of the 2022-2023 influenza season. It shows early increases in seasonal influenza activity reported across most of the United States, with the southeast and south-central areas of the country reporting the highest levels of activity.

Doctors said this is an early indicator of what’s to come, and it’s important for people to get their annual flu vaccine. They said last year’s low numbers were during a time when people were masking up and social distancing, but things are different this year.

“The number of people who were vaccinated against flu last year was relatively low. So that kind of creates a perfect storm,” said Dr. Jill Roberts with the University of South Florida College of Public Health. “We have no immunity from past infection. We have no immunity from vaccinations. And now here we are getting an early flu season.”

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It’s why they’re encouraging people to get their flu shots as soon as possible.

“So then that means you have got to get ahead of it. And so we don’t want to wait till it gets to that high point and then start taking the actions because now it’s too late,” Roberts said. “So if I were to get my flu shot today, it’s going to be a full two weeks. So I’m talking Halloween before I actually have protection from that vaccine. So you don’t want to wait.”

After an unexpected and unseasonal surge in flu cases among children this summer, doctors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital are now worried about a steady increase in RSV cases.

“We have been seeing a steady increase of RSV cases for the last several months,” Dr. Juan Dumois, a pediatric infectious diseases’ physician, said. “It started going up around April and May and throughout the summer, it’s been increasing and not really going down. It’s been very unusual for what we expect to see with RSV because RSV is usually a winter virus.”

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Doctors at All Children’s said last month, 200 children tested positive for RSV. They don’t normally expect those kinds of numbers until December or January.

“RSV is likely to be going up instead of coming down. And so, we’re going to have an extra-long RSV season probably,” Dumois said.

There is no vaccine yet to prevent RSV infection. The CDC recommends that everyone ages six months and older get a flu vaccine, ideally by the end of October. 

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