Remember the fear of a flu outbreak over the holidays? It didn’t happen, says the CDC

Before the holidays, there was fear in some medical circles about it Eid gatherings Among millions upon millions of families across America that would lead to a serious increase in respiratory disease.

Now, new US government data suggests that was not the case.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that visits to doctors’ offices for influenza-like illnesses It fell for the sixth week in a row.

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“Seasonal influenza activity continues but is declining in most areas,” the CDC wrote on its website.

The CDC also said that reports of RSV, a common cause of cold-like symptoms that can be serious for babies And the old ones, they also fell.

Doctors were concerned ahead of the holiday that winter gatherings could lead to a surge in cases of influenza, RSV and COVID.

Doctors were concerned ahead of the holiday that winter gatherings could lead to a surge in cases of influenza, RSV and COVID.
(iStock)

In the fall, when influenza and RSV cases soared and overloaded pediatric emergency rooms, some doctors feared that winter might be coming. The so-called triple from influenza, RSV and COVID-19.

They worried that holiday gatherings might be the spark. But it didn’t seem to happen.

Hospitalizations for RSV have been declining since November — and hospitalizations have fallen, too.

“Right now, everything just keeps getting worse,” said Lynette Brammer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

She leads the government agency’s tracking of influenza in the United States, according to the Associated Press.

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Hospitalizations for RSV have been declining since November — and hospitalizations have fallen, too.

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Mark Siegel told Fox News Digital Saturday morning that he agreed that “there’s been some immune shutdown” recently for several reasons, including the recent “vicious lockdowns” in Australia.

This does not mean that some people did not get sick. Lots of families She mentioned that one or more of her members came up with something during the holidays after group get-togethers.

Some doctors say patient traffic is declining for now, while some still wonder and worry about what sub-variants of the COVID-19 omicron might bring.

Some doctors say patient traffic is declining for now, while some still wonder and worry about what sub-variants of the COVID-19 omicron might bring.
(iStock)

The Associated Press reports that the situation is uneven across the country – with some areas seeing more disease than others.

But some doctors say the movement of patients is declining.

“It really relaxed things, to a great extent,” Dr. Ethan Weiner, MD, a pediatrician at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone in New York Cityhe told the Associated Press.

There was an increase in COVID-19 traffic in St. Louis Children’s in December, one of the doctors said. But he said the situation was not the same as a year ago.

Dr. Jason Newland, MD, a pediatric infectious disease physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, He also told the outlet that it has “slowed down dramatically.”

Newland said he wasn’t surprised that influenza and RSV have continued to drop in recent weeks — but added, “The question is what will COVID do?”

COVID-19 hospital admissions rose through December, including the week after Christmas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

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One set of CDC data appears to show it starting to trend lower after New Year’s, though a spokeswoman for the agency noted that another number indicates a slight increase as of last week.

Because of the reporting delay, Newland told the Associated Press, it may take a few weeks for the CDC to confirm that COVID-19 hospitalizations have really begun to decline.

A patient talking to a doctor in an examination room.  It makes sense that respiratory infections would rebound amid travel and holiday gatherings — and it's not entirely clear why that doesn't happen, health professionals say.

A patient talking to a doctor in an examination room. It makes sense that respiratory infections would rebound amid travel and holiday gatherings — and it’s not entirely clear why that doesn’t happen, health professionals say.
(iStock)

He also said there was an increase in the movement of COVID-19 in St. Louis for children in December.

But he noted that the situation was not the same as a year ago, when the then-new omicron variant caused the largest national wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

“That was the worst,” he said.

Last week, Dr. Siegel also told Fox News Digital that this is relatively new COVID-19 omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 “It’s the most portable alternative yet.”

“Not only does it bind to cells well, but it’s also more immunogenic,” he said. Siegel Professor of Medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City.

The CDC recently revised downward its estimate of the extent of XBB.1.5 circulating in the United States.

The variant — nicknamed “Kraken” by some — is spreading around the world, too.

Maria Van Kerkhove, Ph.D., WHO Technical Lead, stated that XBB.1.5 is “the most transmissible subsubstance discovered to date,” reports WebMD.

Although this sub-variant continues to spread faster than other versions of COVID-19, the CDC recently revised down its estimate of how much XBB.1.5 is circulating in the United States.

Why RSV and the flu outbreak are likely to fade away

Fall RSV and influenza outbreaks were most acutely felt in pediatric health care centers.

Pediatric emergency department traffic in Hassenfeld was 50% higher than normal levels in October, November and December — the “highest volume ever” for that time of year, Weiner said, according to the Associated Press.

Experts said it's always possible for a second wave of disease to continue into the future.

Experts said it’s always possible for a second wave of disease to continue into the future.
(iStock)

It’s possible that RSV and spikes in influenza died down because many of the high-risk population got infected and “it kind of burned itself out,” he said.

It makes sense, Brammer said, that respiratory infections would rebound amid travel and holiday gatherings — and it’s not entirely clear why that wouldn’t happen.

With all that said, flu season isn’t over yet, the Associated Press points out.

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She noted that 36 states are still reporting high or very high levels of influenza activity.

Experts said it’s always possible for a second wave of disease to continue into the future.

Dr. Siegel said, “I think we’re past the worst” of influenza in the United States — though he said flu season usually peaks in January.

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The CDC continues to recommend that everyone “six months and older” get the flu vaccine.

“An annual flu vaccine is the best way to prevent influenza. Vaccination helps prevent infection and can also prevent serious outcomes in people who are vaccinated but still get sick with the flu,” the CDC says on its website.

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

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