Activity levels vary in different states, however. Hospitalizations in California are running at four times the level seen in 2014 and 2015, while Minnesota’s rate is double. In New York, the numbers are starting to surpass the national average.
An additional, unexpected finding is the flu’s impact on middle-aged Americans, who typically withstand it pretty well. While hospitalization rates are predictably highest among the elderly, younger baby boomers aged 50 to 65 are in second place, Jernigan said. This is especially bad news for them, given a new study linking the flu to increased risk of heart attacks.
“Baby boomers have higher rates than their grandchildren right now,” he said. “Those folks are ones who really would benefit from having a higher vaccination coverage.” And not only for their own benefit, or even their families. These Americans are at the peak of their careers with many in managerial roles, Jernigan explained. When they’re home sick in bed, it can negatively impact their businesses.