‘Experts’ Have Trouble Explaining ‘Slow Flu Season’

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Some are blaming the nicer weather in the Northeast United States. Of course, the poorer weather conditions across much of the west tend to contradict such thought. Others claim it is simply delayed. And many others just don’t know how to explain it. But all the same, people aren’t falling dead all over the country due to influenza and that’s probably hurting flu shot sales.

The CDC is worried, however, that the ‘delayed flu season,’ as they are terming it, is contributing to lower turnout for the flu shot. Which is to say, the CDC isn’t taking any blame for distributing a flu shot exactly one year ago that completely and totally failed. It was only one year ago that people filled the emergency rooms nationwide on Christmas with severe flu symptoms. Was the flu strain worse or were more people taking flu shots? Funny how we never allow ourselves a chance to really digest the metrics on these things.

So now the flu season’s anticipated eruption is February. This gives the CDC an extended period of time to push the flu shot. Of course, come February, that marker will be pushed to April (and so on).

Via Scientific American.

According to the new model, there’s a less than 1 percent chance that the flu season will peak before January in most of the country, and a less than 20 percent chance that it will peak in January.

On the other hand, there’s a 57 percent chance that flu season will peak in February. That would be relatively late — the last three flu seasons have all peaked in December, said Dave Osthus, a researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory who leads the flu forecast project.

The new model also predicts that this flu season will be mild, meaning there will be fewer flu cases than in a typical flu season.

A year following a huge flu season with large flu shot turnout is seemingly mild with lower flu shot turnout. Maybe the flu shot itself is a variable we should consider? It would seem to me we should have no trouble explaining this ‘phenomenon’ at all. More flu shots seem to equal more flu. And less flu shots seem to equal milder cases of the flu.

 

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