Government health officials are reporting that it has become increasingly difficult to keep tabs on flu activity during the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from the CDC.
During typical flu seasons, CDC will routinely collect geographic data from jurisdictions around the country. This year, some of the agencies data collection programs stalled or shut down completely due to the challenges of tracking flu cases during the coronavirus pandemic, according the CDC’s weekly FluView report.
“Due to the impact of COVID-19 on ILI (influenza-like illness) surveillance, and the fact that the state and territorial epidemiologists report relies heavily on ILI activity, reporting for this system will be suspended for the 2020-21 influenza season. Data from previous seasons is available on FluView Interactive,” the CDC report says.
“The geographic spread of influenza as reported by state and territorial epidemiologists indicates geographic spread of influenza viruses but does not measure the severity of influenza activity.”
Over 300 government jurisdictions throughout the country reported insufficient data to accurately measure flu activity in their respective regions, the CDC report says.
Of the 21,084 suspected flu specimens tested during the first week of April, just 15 came back positive. The CDC warns that this data “should be interpreted with caution” due to the impact of the novel coronavirus.