While influenza continues to have high to very high activity across the vast majority of the U.S., we are seeing a flattening, which has held steady for about the last four weeks. However, this is not to say that the flu season is over, rather we typically see another spike following the holiday season, associated with the indoor gatherings of family and friends.
COVID is taking a bit of a different track with indications that it is spreading, though perhaps slowing a bit. But case rates, TPRs, and Rts continue to increase through most states, with TPRs above 10% across much of the U.S.
With influenza rates remaining high and COVID case rates increasing, it is important that we don’t let down our guard too soon. Continue to have workers stay home when ill, take care when joining in gatherings, and stay aware of the influenza levels in your area. Make employee wellness a New Year’s Resolution – and reach out to TAG if you need any assistance.
We wish you all the best for the holidays and a happy and successful 2023.
COVID Risk Matrix:
Infectious Disease News
- Influenza. Cases continue to be up in some places and down in others. Canada is seeing some decreases. The Czech Republic is also seeing leveling off. But cases are up in England. This has led some to speculate that the flu season may have peaked. However, often cases pick up in early January, right after the Christmas and New Year holidays, with the spike attributed to holiday gatherings.
- Strep A. The latest figures from the UK Health Security Agency show 21 children have now died after contracting the invasive Strep bacteria. Two children in Wales and one in Northern Ireland have also died as the death toll has risen this winter to 24. The US is also investigating some increases.The increase may be possible because bacterial infections like Strep A often strike after viral illnesses (e.g., COVID, flu, RSV…), as a person’s immune system has been worn down and cannot fight off the bacteria as effectively.
- Something to watch. A mysterious so-called Christmas virus is being discussed diligently on the internet. Symptoms mimic a prolonged cold and has not been connected with any of the current circulating viruses.