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Flu is making a comeback in US after an unusual year off

ADHS flu report
Posted at 8:16 AM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 10:23:18-05

The U.S. flu season has arrived on schedule after taking a year off.

Flu hospitalizations are rising and the first two child deaths have been reported.

In Arizona, as of Friday, the Arizona Department of Health Services has reported nearly 2,000 cases of influenza and more than 2,500 cases of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial virus).

According to the ADHS dashboard, the age groups of 5-18 and 19-49 are the most affected by influenza this season.

ADHS flu report
Screenshot of influenza graphic from Arizona Department of Health Services. Blue line represents current season cases, gray bars represent five-season average, ADHS says.

Last year’s flu season was the lowest on record. That's likely because COVID-19 measures — such as schools closing and people wearing masks — prevented the spread of influenza.

It's also possible the coronavirus somehow pushed aside other viruses.

The type of flu circulating this year tends to cause the largest amount of severe disease, especially in the elderly and the very young.

Health officials are urging people to get their flu shots.