Besides a sports historian, I consider myself a historian of the media, and how the media influences our lives.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, I can’t help but do a little research on how this years flu season in the US compares with others. It’s interesting to see how this year is truly unique in terms of the flu season itself and how the media (traditional and social) are playing a huge role in how people around the globe are responding.
This is just the beginning but I’m starting here with little perspective from the CDC about this years flu season.
Two key points from the site about why this flu year will be so historic.
‘1. Laboratory confirmed influenza associated hospitalization rates for the overall U.S. population remain moderate compared to recent seasons, but rates for children 0-4 years and adults 18-49 years are now the highest CDC has on record for these age groups, surpassing rates reported during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Hospitalization rates for school-aged children (5-17 years) are higher than any recent regular season but remain lower than rates experienced by this age group during the pandemic.’
‘2. Nationally, influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses are now the most commonly reported influenza viruses this season. Previously, influenza B/Victoria viruses predominated nationally.’
Also, this little bit of information is interesting in comparison to the current COVID-19 numbers available here (https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6). ‘CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 36 million flu illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths from flu.’
The numbers above are for the flu season which from the charts I saw ran from October, 2019-present. I’m curious as to how much the COVID-19 pandemic will make this season truly one of a kind.