A file photo of a woman sick in bed.

A file photo of a woman sick in bed. Credit: iStock

Could this be the flu season that wasn't?

After the H1N1-linked drama of past years, the low number of cases of influenza circulating in the United States is reassuring, experts said. But that doesn't mean the virus couldn't still become the wily foe it so often is, they added.

"If you look at the nation as a whole, we are seeing low activity across the country," said Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He stressed, however, that flu season generally peaks in the first couple of months of the year.

"As we move to February, we expect that activity will increase," Skinner added.

Health care providers across the country echoed those findings.

On the East Coast, all has been relatively quiet.

"The activity is pretty low here," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.

That holds true for the West, also.

"Certainly in the Southwest, it doesn't seem that activity has been high," said Angela Golden, president-elect of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. "Even in the urgent care [setting] we're not seeing a whole lot."

But Golden, who is based in northern Arizona, added that the season may simply be kicking into gear a little later than usual.

According to the CDC, by the end of the first week of January there was a slight uptick in flu activity, but it was still considered low. Flu incidence was deemed "minimal" across 48 states, and while Colorado and New Hampshire showed slightly higher rates of illness than other states, it wasn't much more, CDC tracking data indicated.

Latest videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME