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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Flu cases are on the rise again in the U.S., according to data published Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: With the recent emergence of the Omicron variant, the country faces the dual threat of surging COVID cases and influenza, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable and straining health care resources.

  • Last year, the U.S. had very few flu cases, mostly due to preventative measures such as widespread masking, capacity limits and social distancing, Axios' Marisa Fernandez writes.
  • States reporting high numbers of flu cases are New Mexico, Kansas, Indiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Georgia and North Dakota, according to CDC data.

Between the lines: Fewer people in the U.S. have received a flu shot compared with last year, potentially fueling the rise in infections, according to AP.

Go deeper: Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 1 hour ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."