June 15, 2023 – A recent spike in flu activity in Australia, which is in the midst of its flu season, has U.S. health officials on alert. That’s because flu activity Down Under can help predict how severe the U.S. flu season will be.
In their latest flu monitoring report, Australian health officials noted that flu-like illnesses have recently increased “steeply” but said “there is currently not enough information to comprehensively assess the potential severity of the 2023 influenza season at this time.” Data in the report shows that 30% of all seasonal cases of flu-like illness occurred in the last 2 weeks of May.
“There are several countries experiencing higher or earlier activity compared with years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, while others are experiencing typical activity for this time of year or activity that is lower than historical trends," CDC epidemiologist Carrie Reed, PhD, told Fox News.Flu season in the Southern Hemisphere typically runs April to September, the CDC says. The CDC currently has no travel notices issued for Australia or for flu activity.
Last year, flu season got off to record-setting early and fierce start in the U.S.