Influenza Like Illnesses (ILIs) – COVID-19, Flu & RSV and other respiratory illnesses – are wrecking havoc across the country this winter
After couple years of reduced population mixing and public masking due to the pandemic, this winter we have once-in-a-decade levels of Flu & RSV prevalence in addition to COVID-19.
CDC even updated their ILI chart with a new purple color to highlight the top ILI activity level as seen in the latest chart above. 95% of the country is experiencing high levels of ILI activity contributing to 1 in 13 of all office visits.
Now is the time to follow key indicators and plan your day accordingly. Check your local risks at My Hubbub
The 2022-23 Influenza season started more than a month sooner than usual potentially leading to a longer season with lot more infections.
Besides starting early, lab tests for Influenza are showing a very high 25% positivity nationwide implying a very high prevalence in the population.
In fact, across much of the metro areas across the country, the FLU /area Index is in shades of orange to purple indicating > 5% of the population currently infected. FLU has a very high attack rate within households and school/work resulting in significant number of families
Respiratory Syncytial Virus is usually a concern among 0 - 4 and 65+ age groups. It is a minor cause of hospitalization in the susceptible population since most kids get exposed to RSV before they turn 2 and successfully fight the infection.
The high rates of RSV in circulation in the population and the suspected increased susceptibility to RSV due to widespread prior SARS-CoV-2 exposure is causing up to a quarter of all office visits among the 0-4 set.
In turn , we are set to see greater than 2x the typical rate of hospitalization, this year compared to the typical year.
The My Hubbub RSV charts show the risks in metro areas around the country except for pockets of exception such the South West. However, east of the Mississippi, RSV has peaked in November and is on the decline.
While prior waves have had a single dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant leading the surge, at present we have dozens of Omicron sub variants with > 1% of prevalence in various states across the country. The widely diverse lineage of these sub variants has resulted in diverse names as well: BA.5*, BF*, BQ.1* and XBB* with the BQ.1* sub variant family becoming dominant over most states. Follow @hubbubworld on Twitter or @firstname.lastname@example.org on Mastodon for latest variant updates.
Several of these sub variants have more than 5 mutations resulting in significant immune evasion in lab studies. Now that the biggest co-mingling event of the year Thanksgiving is over, we are seeing a surge across the country in COVID-19 cases which will get more pronounced as the weather cools further and holiday travels amplify the spread.
At present, the New York City & Los Angeles metros have very high local COVID-19 risk. However, numerous other metros like the San Francisco Bay Area are showing signs of a new surge.
Check your local COVID-19 risks at My Hubbub
ILI (Influenza Like Illnesses)
As we enter this winter with these triumvirate of viruses among other routine respiratory infections, at Hubbub World, we have created a two simple metrics that aggregate the impact of these viruses:
ILI /area Index that provides the combined Local Risk of Influenza Like Illnesses
ILI /hour Index that provides the combined Indoor Exposure Risk of Influenza Like Illnesses
The ILI indices for a specific location are available on our website and our widgets deployed by our customers. In addition, we will also be publishing daily charts on the ILI indices across the country.