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May 24, 2021

Influenza Activity in the US During the 2020-2021 Season

Author Affiliations
  • 1Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
JAMA. 2021;325(22):2247-2248. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.6125

Concerns about a severe influenza season that might overwhelm health care systems already overburdened by the surge of patients with COVID-19 have not been realized. The 2020-2021 influenza season has been characterized by unusually low circulation of influenza viruses in the US. From September 2020 through the week ending May 15, 2021, only 0.051% of 485 637 respiratory specimens tested and reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were positive for influenza viruses at US public health laboratories and only 0.18% of 1 054 101 respiratory specimens were positive at US clinical laboratories (compared with 10%-19% in recent years).1

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