NewsYour Health MattersAsk Dr. Nandi

Here's why this flu season may be the worst in more than a decade

Posted at 3:11 PM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 17:49:52-04

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — The flu is definitely making a comeback this year, as I know many patients who are getting infected.

Clinical laboratories have recorded more than 9,100 positive tests in the first three weeks of the flu season. That’s unusually high. The CDC is estimating at least 880,000 flu illnesses and 6,900 hospitalizations so far this year.

Those are the highest recorded numbers we’ve had, compared to previous seasons dating back to 2010-2011.

There are two age groups with high hospitalization rates. The first, not surprisingly, is our seniors. That’s because our immune systems tend to weaken as we age, leaving us more vulnerable to flu-related complications.

The other group with high hospitalization rates is young children, which is unusual at this point in the season. H3N2 is the viral strain that is currently causing most disease, and it’s particularly hard on older adults and young children.

It’s unfortunate but flu can kill. So far, there’s been 360 deaths and two reported pediatric flu deaths – one in Texas and one in South Carolina.

As for why the flu is harsher this year, it could be because over the last couple of years, people were not as exposed to the usual viruses because so many of us were home due to the pandemic. Plus many of us were more vigilant when it came to washing our hands, wiping surfaces, and wearing masks to keep germs away.

We’ve lost some of our immunity and many of us are now more susceptible to these viruses. But people will build back their immunity, and a great way to add protection is by getting the flu shot. Flu vaccination has decreased over the past two years, especially among children. That could be another reason why this age group has higher hospitalization rates. Remember, everyone ages 6 months and older can get a flu vaccine.

It’s not only the best way to protect against the flu, but vaccination can also prevent serious outcomes in people who still end up getting sick with the flu.

This week on The Dr. Nandi Show....Dr. Partha Nandi discusses some of the latest techniques being used to help protect and improve eyesight. Dr. Sandeep Randhawa discusses how to slow the degenerative process of the eyes as we age. Amanda Gates speaks on how the Feng Sui of a home can strengthen eyesight. Dr. Gabriel Sosne informs on a new treatment for dry eyes. And Dr. Sally Hoey talks about how to protect the eyes at an early age.  Tune in this Sunday, November 6th at 1 pm for “How to Protect Our Eyes”.