Friday, January 11, 2013

How Bad is This Flu Season?

Frequently this time of year the weather will become a story that people start to discuss as having possible effects on the economy.  Last year the winter was abnormally warm, leading people to hypothesize that there would be better than usual economic activity.  Meanwhile in other years there is often a blizzard or two that hit the northeast and people begin to worry about how that can affect the data (usually weather worries end up being more bark than bite).

This year the seasonal story-line isn't so much about the weather as much as it is about people being under the weather.  WAG and CVS have each had good starts to 2013 based on a bad flu season.  Just how bad is the season though? Below is some data from the CDC comparing this flu season to previous ones.  So far the season is bad but not as bad as the 2009-10 pandemic when we were hit with an attack of the swine.

Source: Centers for Disease Control

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