The Los Alamos National Laboratory predicts the 2016 flu season will peak this February, which is later than the last three years. Although predicting the flu is not an exact science, experts believe that the later the flu season starts, the milder the epidemic may be for that year. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) Influenza Division indicated that as late as December 2015, flu activity was still very low for the United States.
These researchers update their predictions twice a month, using a variety of tools to gauge the spread of the virus. They even track Wikipedia searches for “flu” as an indicator of the virus spreading and monitor if the flu vaccine for that year covered the strains in circulation.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease specialist and a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for Health Security was quoted as saying that even a mild flu season can still cause a lot of problems: “Even a mild season of influenza is still a substantial burden,” Adalja said.