The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week that flu cases have hit 6 million in the United States following the start of flu season in October.
The CDC reports that over 53,000 hospitalizations due to influenza have been recorded this year, with 29,000 deaths as of Nov. 19. The agency notes that the cumulative hospitalization rate is the highest since the 2010-2011 flu season.
Almost all recorded cases of the flu are Influenza A, and of those infections, 78% are the H3N2 strain and 22% are the H1N1 strain.
“We are likely to see an increase in the upcoming weeks,” epidemiologist Lynnette Brammer, who heads the CDC’s domestic influenza surveillance team, said in a statement to NBC News.
"People don't have a good appreciation for how severe flu can be," she added.
Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 Task Force coordinator, told NBC that “We are dealing with three very contagious respiratory viruses. Our expectation is we are likely to see an increase in the upcoming weeks," especially with influenza and COVID.
However, Jha noted, "nationally, the numbers do seem to be turning down. We'll want to see over the next couple of weeks where that goes. But the preliminary evidence right now is pretty hopeful."
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