Source: Google



As you can see from above, this years flu is a big problem . . .

Category: Current Affairs, Web/Tech

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18 Responses to “United States Flu Trends”

  1. rd says:

    here is an interesting article projecting that health insurers will be suffering because of the flu hospitilizations:

    It is odd then that most private health insurance companies don’t cover the cost of flu vaccines…..

  2. devoCanuck says:

    Up here in Canuckistan I don’t know anyone whose had the flu this year. Of course they all have had a flu shot. That socialized medicine again.

    But I am sure there are plenty of people here who have had the flu just not in my personal circle of friends.

    Get well soon everybody!

  3. It seems every year we hear this though. Maybe it is true this year, but I have tuned out the wolf crying. I did hear a news story on WBAL (local Baltimore station) that they are finding many of those with the flu had the vaccine. The vaccine is really only a couple different strains so while it provides some protection, it certainly is not foolproof.

    Hope everyone stays healthy. Wash your hands frequently.

  4. theexpertisin says:

    What frosts me are the inconsiderate boobs who circulate outside their residence spreading their flu virus to others. I take an infused drug that combats psoriatic arthritis, a side effect being lowered resistance to infection, so I admit to being especially peeved at these folks. I do take precautions to minimize infections. Please….

    If you are sick, Stay home. And for God’s sake, stay out of airplanes.

  5. znmeb says:

    I get a flu shot every year. So do lots of people. Has the virus mutated ahead of the vaccines or something?

  6. Blake says:

    Znmeb… there are hundreds of influenza variants and dozens circulating at any time. They can only select 3 or 4 antigen “pieces” to build the vaccine which takes months to grow… it is hit or miss!

  7. rd says:

    Here is a good FAQ from the CDC about this year’s flu season.

    My understanding is that 90% of the reported flu cases where strains have been identified are matches to this year’s vaccine. Unfortunately, the season started early and many people did not start getting vaccinated until recently, so a large percentage of the population has been vulnerable. It takes a very high percentage of the population being vaccinated to prevent large scale transission of the flu (I have seen estimates of 80% of the population). This occurred a couple of years ago with the H1N1 concern but vaccination rates dropped dramatically this year until recently and the strains this year are different from the past couplef of years.

  8. whskyjack says:

    My last two insurance co have cover flu shots, I haven’t always taken them, (time ect) I did this year, been having health issues and was in the doctors quite a bit so it was easy.

    My understanding is they picked 3 different strains of virus this year but there is a 4th one that has appeared in about 10% of the cases. By now maybe more.

  9. RW says:

    I wonder if there is any correlation to states that no longer require employers to offer pay for sick leave? I hear there’s a movement afoot in Wisconsin because the recently passed anti-labor laws including no sick-leave pay are being associated with the increased incidence of flu infection.

  10. Bob A says:

    it’s beyond me why people don’t get a flu shot.
    these days you can get one at any walgreens or safeway among others
    and they’re relatively inexpensive even if you don’t have insurance

  11. Bob A says:

    and the cost is covered on any new policy that’s been issued since obamacare, unless you ‘ve elected to stay on a grandfathered plan.

  12. bonzo says:

    >it’s beyond me why people don’t get a flu shot.

    You have to do some actuarial calculations to determine whether it makes sense or not. If the flu shot costs $20 and reduces your chances of getting flu by 1%, then it makes sense to pay for the shot only if you value avoiding the flu at $2000 or more. $2000 is a helluva lot of money for a lot of uninsured Americans, especially the unemployed for whom a week or so of illness is no big deal. They just stay in bed watching tv rather than sitting in a chair watching tv. If you’re employed but self-insured and in the 33% bracket, then a week of illness would have to cost you $3000 (combination of lost income and reduced happiness) to justify a $20 flu shot that only reduces chances of getting flu by 1%.

    I’m not sure as to that 1% number, but I do know that the flu shot doesn’t make a big difference. First, most people who don’t get the shot still won’t get flu, either because their body fights it off easily or because they weren’t exposed to it. Second, the vaccine doesn’t always prevent the flu, since their are many flu strains and the vaccine only covers some of these strains and because the vaccine simply doesn’t work in some people.

  13. willid3 says:

    my company has offered flu shots for over decade that I know of. and the health care plans all offer it free also. guess they figured its more productive to have workers at work than home sick, or at work sick, making others sick too.

  14. GB says:


    Blah blah, probabilities, loss events, blah. For optional rental car insurance, yes.

    For miserable life shortening flu, skip dinner tonight, pay the $20. Or just bring your insurance card.

  15. drtomaso says:

    There goes my plan to move to Hawaii to avoid this yearly bs.

    I usually get a flu shot through my employer, but I’ve started my own gig this year, and every time I’ve thought to go in and get the shot, I’ve been sick with something else.

  16. bonzo says:

    @GB it’s the principle of the thing. I’m an investor and I’m don’t like wasting principal betting on long odds.

  17. Bob A says:

    in my experience flu shots reduce your chances of getting the flu by 99%.

  18. bonzo says:

    @Bob A: that implies at least 99% of the non-vaccinated population gets flu currently, which is clearly false. Let’s suppose 10% of the non-vaccinated population currently gets flu each year and the vaccine is 100% effective. Then instead of a 10% chance of getting flu, your chances become 0%. So if the vaccine costs $20, cost to reduce one episode of flu is $200.

    I think the % of the non-vaccinated population that gets flu is way less than 10% and I know the flu vaccine is 100% effective, which suggests the cost to reduce one episode of flu, assuming $20 per flu shot, is much more than $200, probably closer to the $2000 I suggested above.

    Silly argument? Maybe. But then lack of cold-blooded economic rationality in other people is something I rely on to make money as an investor.