Here’s How Early the Flu Has Struck This Year

A look at historical data shows the 2022-2023 flu season is off to a dramatic start, with the weekly hospitalization rate 20 times higher than at the same time last season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks flu hospitalization rates using the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network, which currently collects data from more than 70 counties across 13 states and represents nearly 30 million people, or 9% of the U.S. population. The CDC typically lists rates reflecting cases from early October to late April of the following year, reporting figures for each “MMWR week.” The surveillance network’s dashboard reports weekly hospitalization rates from the 2009-2010 through the 2022-2023 seasons, except for the 2020-2021 season, when there was extremely low flu activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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