. According to health officials, the flu is on the rise in multiple US states, with a particularly high number of cases reported in seven states.

According to health officials, the flu season has started in the United States. Seven states have already reported high levels of sickness, and there is an increase in cases in other areas of the country.

The CDC released updated information on the flu on Friday, revealing a significant increase in cases in Louisiana last week. There were also high levels of activity reported in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, and South Carolina. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, also had high levels of activity and declared an influenza epidemic earlier this month.

“We are ready to begin,” stated Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.

In past years, the period of increased influenza cases during the winter typically occurred in December or January. However, last year it began in October and this year it is beginning in November.

The level of flu activity in New York City, Arkansas, California, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas has been increasing, but remains at a moderate level. Alaska has been experiencing high levels of flu activity for several weeks, but was not included in the most recent count due to missing data from the previous week.

During flu season, tracking involves collecting information from individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms who seek medical care at doctor’s offices or hospitals. However, not all individuals with the flu undergo testing, meaning their infections are not officially confirmed by a laboratory. COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses can complicate the tracking process.

Alicia Budd, the leader of the CDC’s flu surveillance team, stated that multiple signs are indicating ongoing rises in flu cases.

There are various strains of influenza, and the dominant one this year typically results in fewer hospitalizations and fatalities among older individuals, who are most vulnerable to the flu.

As of now in the autumn season, the CDC approximates that there have been at least 780,000 cases of the flu, at least 8,000 people have been hospitalized, and at least 490 deaths have been attributed to the flu, including one child.

According to Budd, the level of effectiveness of the current flu vaccines is still uncertain. However, they are well-matched to the flu strains that are currently circulating. The latest data from the CDC shows that approximately 35% of adults and 33% of children in the U.S. have received the flu vaccine. This is a decrease from last year in both groups.

The percentage of individuals who have received the flu vaccine is higher compared to those who have received the recommended COVID-19 and RSV vaccines. Approximately 14% of adults and 5% of children have been vaccinated against COVID-19, while approximately 13.5% of adults aged 60 and older have received one of the RSV vaccines that became available earlier this year.


The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group provides support to the Associated Press Health and Science Department. The AP is solely responsible for all of the content.