From the headlines, you might get the impression that Nov. 4 — Thursday — is one of the biggest dates in America. It is, but not necessarily on this day:
Usually, at the time, the flu season begins.
This year, however, we have a new twist on flu season.
It’s called dual meaning flu.
For the past couple of years, one strain of the virus circulating in the U.S. has been associated with a larger proportion of severe illness, hospitalizations and death. And now, another strain of flu has started to circulate.
DOH commissioner, Dr. Mary Minow, recently told the New York Times that, “this is the first year we are tracking two strains of influenza.”
So, in addition to confirming the possibility of this early flu season on Thursday, we are also learning about it in the context of wider flu trends.
To start, let’s address what we know about this season so far.
First of all, we have lots of data to feed into how serious this flu season will be. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking this season’s flu in its Fluzone Rapid Response system, which allows this data to be shared quickly.