Was the Flu Abnormally Bad During December and January?

The deputy director general of the information department in China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lijian Zhao, continued to promote the Chinese government’s propaganda that coronavirus originated in the United States. He tweeted Sunday:

Zhao was quoting a Twitter user who goes by the name “the lizard king.” Meanwhile, the less regal, but likely more reliable, CDC disagrees with every aspect of his tweet. The claims may ring true anecdotally to some, but overall the increase in flu cases in December and the effectiveness of the flu shot this year are in keeping with historical trends.

The CDC estimates that the flu shot during the 2019-2020 season has had an overall 45 percent effectiveness rate. That may seem like a low number, but it is well within the typical annual range of 40 percent to 60 percent effectiveness. For comparison, the last flu season, the shot had an effectiveness rate of only 29 percent. In fact, the flu shot this season is estimated to have an effectiveness rate higher than each of the last three seasons according to CDC data.

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