(NewsNation) — Flu hospitalizations have reached a decade high in the U.S., with the Southeast being the hardest-hit region.
So far this season, at least 2.8 million people have fallen ill with the flu, and 23,000 have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s the highest hospitalization rate early in the flu season since 2010.
The virus has claimed the lives of 1,300 people, including at least four children, so far this season.
According to the CDC, flu activity has been the highest in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia Tennessee, Virginia and Washington D.C.
During the week ending Nov. 5, five out of every 100,000 people in the U.S. was hospitalized with the flu, according to CDC data.
The CDC also reports upward trends of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) positive tests and detections nationwide.
On Monday, the California Department of Public Health reported the first death of a child under the age of 5 from flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) this winter season.
According to the CDC, RSV is a “common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms.”
Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House COVID-19 response coordinator under President Donald Trump, advises everyone to get tested if they’re experiencing any type of respiratory complications.
“We should be telling every American all these respiratory diseases look alike,” Brix said. “The only way you can tell difference is to get a laboratory test; any respiratory symptoms, get a test; get tested.”
In the thick of RSV and flu season, pediatricians and families across the country are also raising concerns about difficulty getting access to common pharmaceuticals that are essential during this time of year.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently added amoxicillin to its list of drugs that are currently experiencing shortages.