Australia just had one of its worst flu seasons ever, with a record 272,146 laboratory confirmed cases to date. Infectious disease experts say it could portend a bad flu season in the United States.
Australia’s season also started and peaked early. Typically, flu season down under spans from June to October and peaks in August or September. This year, however, there was increased influenza activity March through May, and the season peaked in June and July.
Vanessa Raabe, MD, assistant professor of pediatric infectious disease at NYU Langone Health, says the severity of Australia’s flu season is definitely cause for concern. “I would expect that it’s probably going to be another bad flu year [in the US] based on that data,” she tells Health.