Has Flu & COVID Season Already Peaked in Florida?
Bottom Line: Technically, we’re in what should be, usually would be, peak flu and in recent years COVID season. Thankfully, the amount of the flu making its way around Florida suggests it’s anything but. In fact, what’s happening with both viruses is extraordinarily unusual but in a good way. Let’s start with the flu. A year ago, at this time, the CDC’s flu map showed the spread of the traditional flu virus was high and cases were rising across the state. Currently the CDC’s map shows Florida with only moderate flu activity with cases declining in 65 of Florida’s 67 counties – including the entire east coast of the state. In fact, based on the CDC’s data, the spread of the flu around our state peaked on Christmas Eve and has been on the decline ever since. And while that news is encouraging, the ‘vid news is even more dramatic.
The most recent COVID-19 reporting in the state shows we’d averaged around 4,000 cases per day through the first half of month – with a peak day of about 4,600 and that they’re now rapidly decreasing across the state. That includes Palm Beach County experiencing one of the most significant declines as measured through wastewater. A year ago, we were averaging over 55,000 cases per day – with a peak day of nearly 77,000 cases. COVID cases are currently over 90% lower than a year ago. Maybe it’s that we were all sick with something late last year. Maybe, it's that three years removed from the onset of the pandemic our immune systems are more resilient than before. But whatever is driving it, we’re seeing dramatically less sickness within our state than we’ve seen in recent years, with what appears to be the lowest spread of the flu we’ve had at this time of the year since the CDC created their flu map. Interestingly, what isn’t responsible – vaccinations. Only a third of Floridians have had a flu vaccine this season, well below the usual rate and even fewer are consistent with COVID boosters. Perhaps that’s a story unto itself? And maybe it’s just a coincidence, but maybe it’s not?