- Flu News & Surveillance
As Spring Blooms, The Flu Threat Still Looms
After a long winter and one of the worst flu seasons we’ve seen in several years, many of us are ready for spring. College kids are heading to Spring Break. Families will be gathering for holidays like Easter and Passover. Warmer temperatures mean heading outside for kid and adult sporting events and other gatherings.
But when the weather warms and days get longer, that doesn’t mean the risk of contracting a respiratory virus goes away. We typically have seen surges in flu cases occur in the spring, so if you or someone you love has not received your flu shot, there’s still time to get one.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of March 4, 2023,the current flu season has seen at least 26 million illnesses, 290,000 hospitalizations, and 18,000 flu deaths—including 125 pediatric deaths. Flu vaccine uptake is low this year—around 40 percent nationally.
Unfortunately, Families Fighting Flu has seen far too many cases of flu impacting families, even during the spring months. The flu does not discriminate from young children to healthy adults; it takes lives and causes long-term health issues.
It is our mission to ensure that no other family faces the tragedy of losing a loved one to the flu, and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against contracting the disease.
We’ve been working closely this year with our Junior Board Members—who have made amazing impacts in spreading the word about the need to be vaccinated in their college communities.
Eric Stein, a junior at the University of Tennessee, who lost his sister to the flu when they were both toddlers, wrote an opinion piece that ran not only in the Tennessean (the largest newspaper in Nashville) but was also published by MSN News and Yahoo! Sports.
Eric also was interviewed live on a local Nashville morning news program, along with Dr. William Schaffner from NFID—National Foundation of Infectious Diseases.
Additionally, Junior Board Members Alea Lastinger and Katie Miller are spreading the word about flu vaccination across Texas. Both have written stories about their family’s flu experience. Alea’s piece was run in the Daily Texan (newspaper of the University of Texas), and Katie’s piece ran in the Southern Methodist University (SMU) student paper and several other publications.
We’re so proud of our Junior Board members for their work and their impact on educating their peers and the public about the importance of flu vaccination.