Flu season is slowly returning: States including Georgia and Mississippi are seeing increasing flu activity, and New Mexico is currently experiencing “high” levels of people experiencing flu-like symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC compiles a weekly flu surveillance report that monitors how often people are visiting a health care provider for flu symptoms including fever, cough and sore throat. In California, this activity remains low, according to the report, but other states are starting to see more flu activity.
The California Department of Public Health for the week of Nov. 21 to Nov. 27 found statewide flu activity was sporadic, but is likely to increase in the coming months. Lab detection of the flu virus did rise from .9% to 1.1% last week, according to CDPH.
Health experts have warned the U.S. may face a tough winter caused by regular flu season overlapping with the continued COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, the CDC announced the first identified case of the omicron variant was detected in a California resident who recently returned from South Africa.
Because of low flu activity since March 2020, according to CDC, this flu season might be early and severe.
Health officials are urging Californians 6 months and older to get vaccinated against the flu — even if you have already gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. Go to your health care provider for a flu shot, or head to a pharmacy like Walgreens or CVS, which both offer flu shots for people ages three and older. Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered at the same time.