December 20, 2012
After a run of topsy-turvy influenza seasons that included one
pandemic and another with almost no flu, the new cough-and-cold season
has arrived abruptly and in force.
Across the country,
influenza-like illnesses are showing up at their earliest point in
nearly a decade. Locally, pediatric hospitals are already experiencing
some of their highest emergency-room volumes since the peak of the
pandemic three years ago.
What is typically a one-two punch -
various early-winter viruses followed by late-winter influenza - may be
emerging in the Philadelphia region as simultaneous rises in the
respiratory infection RSV and flu. Both hit young children hard.