Allergy and Flu Season Collide

Springtime allergies are heating up and the flu season slowly fading.  Here is what to look for and the hard hit areas:

Warmer than normal Spring temperatures have led to an early allergy season with elevated levels of tree and grass pollen.  Grass pollen levels are high along the southern border states and tree pollen across the central U.S. from east to west coast.  Heavy spring rains in many areas have fostered the growth of mold spores adding that to the outdoor allergen mix.

The flu season continues on with widespread activity reported by the CDC in 10 states; Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island.  A shift in flu strains has resulted in a change in the predominant symptoms.  Current symptoms are severe sore throat, headache, congestion and mild fever.  For anyone residing in or visiting these 10 states we encourage you to continue with your flu regimen through the month of May.


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New Flu Strains

The flu season has lingered on longer than expected due to a shift in strains beginning February.  Up until that time, H3N2 had been the dominant strain accounting for almost 90% of flu cases.  Over the last two months, two Influenza B strains have surged now representing about half of reported cases.  There has also been a genetic shift in the H3N2 strain, not covered in the 2016-2017 flu vaccine, likely explaining the latest uptick in flu activity as stated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Geographically, the eastern half of the United States is still experiencing peak levels of flu activity as seen in the CDC’s weekly surveillance map. A steady decline in flu cases over the past few weeks is evident in the western half of the country.

Given a resurgence in the number of cases reported to us, we anticipate that flu activity will remain at high levels in the Midwest and Eastern U.S. through the month of April and possibly longer.  In light of the recent changes in flu strains we are recommending that our customers continue their weekly flu regimen at least through the month of May.

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“I think your homeopathic products are the best.”  —Jonathan, LAc   3/24/17