Flu season will peak in February, researchers say

Scientists at the Los Alamos (N.M.) National Laboratory hypothesize this influenza season will peak in February based on a probabilistic model they developed to forecast the flu season.

The scientists used historical data, a mathematical representation of how flu spreads through a population and current flu season data from the CDC to create their model.

"There's no crystal ball when it comes to predicting disease outbreaks," said Sara Del Valle, PhD, the Los Alamos scientist who is leading the project. "Holiday travel and the rate at which people get flu shots can change the forecast, so we'll continue to update the model as new information becomes available."

Currently, the model suggests there is a less than 5 percent chance the peak will hit before 2016 in all parts of the U.S. This makes it a relatively mild start to the flu season compared to last season, when flu incidence peaked in late December.

To view the complete 2015-2016 LAML influenza forecasts, click here.



More articles on the flu:
The first line of defense: 10 steps to boost influenza vaccinations among healthcare workers
CDC report: Flu rates rising as expected but remain low overall
Study: Most hospitals do not require staff to get flu shots

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