A recent article in the New South Wales Times highlights the rise in influenza cases and COVID-19 infections reported across Australia in the week to 7 May. It also highlights the NSW health department’s use of the phrase “New World Order” at a recent press conference. The following are some of the top health news stories being reported this week, as reported on nsw health twitter. Follow these to stay up-to-date on the latest health issues in your state.
2,000 flu cases reported in the week to 7 May
The New York State Department of Health (NJDOH) reports weekly data on influenza activity for the entire state of New York. The data are collected throughout the year, but the MMWR is only published during influenza season from October through May. During the flu season, the number of patients hospitalized with influenza-like illness (ILI) rises above baseline levels. The percentage of patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) has risen above baseline levels for four consecutive weeks.
But the drop in cases may have something to do with a lack of vaccinations. Thousands of people in the U.S. stay home due to fear of getting the flu. The CDC’s surveillance system tracks the number of people visiting their local health clinics after experiencing flu-like symptoms. If this trend continues, flu could be less severe than it has been before. That’s good news for families with children.
The WHO secretariat released its latest pandemic influenza guidelines in late April 2009, just months before the first H1N1 outbreak in Mexico. Several months later, Mexico reported an estimated 2,000 cases of the disease and about eighty people had died. This report further raised concerns about the virus’s impact on the health of the general public. The WHO’s updated guidelines cite a range of factors, including virus severity.
2,000 COVID-19 cases reported in the week to 7 May
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the latest COVID-19 case count numbers late last week. The virus is now at a high and medium risk in many parts of the country. Overall, the COVID-19 case rate increased 18.8% compared to the prior week. Similarly, hospitalizations and deaths were up on average, although the number of new cases dropped slightly overall.
The data dashboard also contains information about how frequently updated case reports are and how to use them.
As of the end of April, the CDC reported that it has received more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases from various jurisdictions. The CDC is now recommending that all individuals who live in the United States receive two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. People with cardiovascular conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, are at an increased risk of severe cases.
2,000 flu cases reported in the week to 28 April
A conservative political activist accused the CDC of under-reporting the number of flu cases. She posted a tweet with a photo, which many people misunderstood as sarcasm. However, a laboratory analysis confirmed that one of the cases was indeed flu. The decline in the number of cases may be due to changes in behaviour, including increased handwashing and face covering. More than 15 million people have received flu jabs to protect themselves from the virus. Meanwhile, the CDC runs a nationwide surveillance program for flu and respiratory illnesses. It produces a weekly report on cases of influenza and respiratory illnesses between October and April. The peak season is between October and April.
Influenza surveillance in California is a joint effort of the CDC, Kaiser Permanente, and local health jurisdictions. Because California is so far south and west, it is a hub of global travel, which makes influenza surveillance in the state crucial. Besides, the state of California has several international ports of entry, making it susceptible to the disease. Typically, influenza epidemics in the United States follow a seasonal pattern, peaking in late December to early February. Despite this, the CDPH collects and analyzes laboratory and clinical data year-round.
The vaccine has been in development for nearly two decades and has helped protect millions of people from the virus. The CDC’s report is based on data from FluSurv-NET, which estimates the number of influenza-associated hospitalizations in the US.