Second Wave of Flu Makes This Season the Longest in 10 Years
A second wave of the flu that kicked off in February has now made this year’s flu season the longest in a decade.
The current season began the week of Thanksgiving in late November, and has stuck around for 21 weeks and counting, according to the Associated Press.
CNN reports that the previous record came during the 2014-2015 season, when it lasted 20 weeks.
The AP reports that in the beginning, the number of hospitalizations remained low, as the spreading flu strain was one that’s more easily controlled by vaccines.
However, by February, a new strain had begun, leading to additional illnesses and hospitalizations since it is “not well matched” with the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control’s Lynnette Brammer told the AP.
Despite the length of the season, the statistics still pale in comparison to the brutal 2017-2018 19-week season, according to the CDC.
Last year, 960,000 people were hospitalized, and an estimated 80,000 people died, a significantly larger figure than the estimated 34,400-57,300 who have died this year.