CDC adds the color purple for the new highest level of flu outbreak > Dogecointool

CDC adds the color purple for the new highest level of flu outbreak

The Morning Meeting with Al Tompkins is a daily Poynter briefing of story ideas worth considering and other timely context for journalists, written by senior faculty Al Tompkins. Sign up here to have it delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.

My guess is the states of Tennessee, South Carolina and Alabama won’t be using their new exclusive club membership to the CDC’s Purple Club as a recruiting tool.  The CDC added a new color to their flu outbreak chart because simply saying the number was “high” does not adequately describe the outbreak in some of the country.

(CDC, October 29)

The CDC used to stop its alerts with “high.”


Seniors and small children are the sickest.


In a two-week period, flu rates among seniors and young children doubled in the United States.

The Hill points out:

Some local jurisdictions also report data to the CDC. Of those with data available, the metro areas of San Antonio, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; Champaign-Urbana, Illinois; and Columbus, Georgia, had “very high” levels.

The map isn’t based off confirmed influenza lab tests, but rather tracks where people are going to the doctor with flu-like symptoms (respiratory illness and fever, plus a cough or sore throat). Because of that, the map “may capture patient visits due to other respiratory pathogens that cause similar symptoms,” the CDC explains.

The French National Academy of Medicine just recommended that seniors and people with major health problems start wearing masks when they are around other people. French authorities say the country is already facing an epidemic-level flu season.

I want to show you one other CDC chart that would be easy to misread. The 2022-23 flu season line is all the way on the left. Look how much earlier in the year cases are spiking compared to recent years.


A day before Americans choose who leads the legislative branch of our government, nearly nobody running for office or holding office is talking publicly about the fact that 2,500 Americans are dying every week from COVID-19. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 3,200 people are admitted to U.S. hospitals sick with COVID-19 each day. That number is way down from the 21,000 admissions in January this year. The question is, are we satisfied with that hospitalization and fatality rate?

Most of the sick and dead are seniors. Most have been vaccinated but are not up to date on their booster vaccines. This has been going on at this rate since spring. We are making no progress, and it seems few are demanding that we do anything to lower the death and infection rate. It is as if we see 2,504 deaths a week as inevitable and acceptable, not deserving much attention or discussion.


While most Americans have been vaccinated and have gotten at least one booster dose, a pitiful few have taken advantage of the autumn booster dose that was formulated to protect against serious illness and death from the latest covid virus variants.



Since so many people take home COVID-19 tests and do not report their results to any official database, wastewater monitoring has become an increasingly important sentry for how and where the virus is spreading, and the latest wastewater data shows reason to be concerned. The latest samples from 1,200 monitoring sites around the U.S. show more than a third of the sites detecting a large increase in the virus that causes COVID-19. 


It is interesting that our positive sampling rate now is almost exactly where it was a year ago.  

You can also drill down on this information to see the places where the most positive wastewater samples are showing up. Mostly it is in the upper Midwest. Click on the map for the interactive data.


There also are hotspots on the East Coast. And some of the biggest increases are in Ohio, Michigan, New York, Maine, Utah and Colorado.

Leave a Comment