Respiratory virus levels remain elevated in the United States. New Jersey and 18 other states continue to experience high to very high numbers of outpatient visits for respiratory viruses. COVID-19 and RSV also continue to circulate at high levels. After few weeks of declining ER visits for flu, the latest data shows an resurgence of emergency department visits for flu; 82,000 of individuals received a flu diagnosis, 6,000 more than in the previous While ER visits for people with COVID-19 and RSV have trended downward from the peak in December, ERs still saw 50,000 patients for COVID-19 during the week of the latest report. About 23,000 of these individuals were hospitalized.
According to leading experts, flu activity has fallen in the expected range to this point, yet the virus has taken a major toll on people and their communities. So far, flu alone has sickened 20 million Americans, hospitalizing 230,000 people and killing 14,000. “It’s normal in terms of the amount of activity but it is a very, very high burden,” Budd said. It is not too late to receive the flu vaccine, which data shows is particularly effective against this year’s dominant strains. Practicing good hygiene like hand-washing and staying home when ill also helps to prevent the spread of disease.