Though health experts do not expect another catastrophic winter wave like last year, they warn the public not to let their guard down as a large portion of the population remains unvaccinated, and the flu season may bring complications.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Some northern regions in the United States are starting to see rising COVID-19 cases as colder weather arrives, raising concerns for a "twindemic" of flu and coronavirus spikes.
The five states seeing most new daily COVID-19 cases per capita are Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and Idaho, according to a New York Times database.
Alaska is logging the highest daily average of 125 cases per 100,000 people.
Meanwhile, the five states with the fastest rising COVID-19 caseloads are Vermont, Colorado, New Hampshire, Michigan and Minnesota, data showed.
Recently COVID-19 cases are trending downward across the United States, and the coronavirus wave driven by the Delta variant is receding in much of the country. Though health experts do not expect another catastrophic winter wave like last year, they warn the public not to let their guard down as a large portion of the population remains unvaccinated, and the flu season may bring complications.
Americans have built up less natural immunity against influenza because so few were infected in 2020, experts say.
As COVID-19 and the flu share many of the same symptoms, such as fever, cough and chills, it will be hard to determine without a test.
"The weather drives people indoors into poorly ventilated spaces, and when either academic activities or social activities occur without masks in indoor, poorly ventilated spaces, that's when transmission occurs," said Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive of the state of Michigan.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the public to get flu shots by the end of this month. The agency also called on all eligible people, including adolescents ages 12 to 17 years, to get vaccinated to help stop the pandemic.
Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said Sunday that even as the most recent pandemic surge wanes, and case and hospitalization numbers drop, any progress could plateau if vaccination numbers do not improve and the virus continues to circulate.
About 189.1 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, making up 57 percent of the whole U.S. population, according to CDC data updated on Monday.
U.S. President Joe Biden said last week the number of unvaccinated Americans remains "unacceptably high," and he called on more businesses to impose vaccination mandates.