About a year ago I posted information on the yearly Influenza outbreak. I thought I’d followup this year with a slightly more informative post. Boston declared a Public Health Emergency in early January of this year (2013) and it’s got the masses all riled up. First, regardless of what I show below, it is always a good idea to get a Flu vaccination if it is available in your area.
While this is definitely a serious Flu season, it’s useful to compare this year to previous ones. It seems to me that most media groups compare the current situation to the 2011-2012 outbreak, which was much later and much less extreme. If you take a look further back, especially back to the 2009-2010 season, you can see that we aren’t experiencing apocalyptic levels of outbreak. It’s important to note the effects on each age group, though, specifically how in 2009-2010 it was very young children getting hospitalized most often, whereas this year it is people 65 years or older. Also, given the incomplete data, if the current slope continues upward for older citizens, this may be a particularly bad season for them in particular. So far, it appears this season is progressing most similarly to the 2010-2011 season.
We’ll have to see how it turns out, but I plan on updating the graphic below over the next several weeks to keep everyone updated on Flu status this year, good or bad.
Data Updated: January 30, 2013