VDH and CDC data says flu cases are on the rise in Virginia

Virginia is in the yellow moderate level along with two other states, Tennessee and South Carolina.
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 6:13 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -The CDC has been monitoring flu cases and updating its weekly tracking map to show how much the virus is spreading across the country.

Virginia is in the yellow moderate level, along with two other states, Tennessee and South Carolina. Doctors at Patient First said one reason for the higher spread level is that fewer people are wearing masks and practicing social distancing. That’s likely the reason why flu cases weren’t as high during the height of the pandemic.

“We are now losing the mask in a lot of scenarios, and that’s going to spread any viral respiratory illness, not just flu, but we’re going to see more colds and more of everything, especially in the congregate settings like daycares and schools,” explained Dr. Melissa Aquilo who works as a Medical Director for Patient First.

Compared to last year, the Virginia Department of Health reports more flu cases in the state for the 2021-2022 season. Flu cases have been at the widespread level for 12 weeks this year, whereas flu cases had nearly no activity for most of the 2020-2021 season.

“I would attribute that to the social distancing and masking that we were doing; it still existed. We were squelching it by not spreading it,” Aquilo explained.

Patient First said the current high number of cases is not a good sign because it’s typically not until the winter months that flu cases start to rise.

“People are going to gather for all of the holidays that we have coming up with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’. All the parties that are going to happen, they’re going to be microcosms of spreading events,” Aquilo stated.