Cool autumn nights are taking the place of summer days. This indicates that flu season is also approaching. Your nose, throat, and lungs are all affected by the flu, a viral infection.
When is the flu season?
In the US, the flu season can start as early as October; however, it occasionally doesn’t appear until January or February.
According to experts in infectious diseases, we can occasionally observe patterns in the Southern Hemisphere to get a sense of how severe or mild our flu season will be. Experts anticipate a flu season with higher cases this year because of this as well.
Will flu season be bad this year?
The flu season in 2020–2021 was mild historically. Between September 2020 and April 2021, just 2,038 flu cases were documented, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In contrast, the CDC predicted that between October 2021 and June 2022, there were an additional 8 to 13 million flu cases.
What can we anticipate this year? According to doctors, the flu season won’t be as mild as it was a few years ago.
Changes in behavior brought on by COVID-19 are what make the difference. A few years ago, we were all wearing masks and washing our hands; we avoided social situations and stayed home due to COVID. Since influenza is disseminated similarly, we were also preventing the virus.
People began going out more once the COVID-19 vaccines were introduced and the mask regulations were relaxed. This changed the flu season the following year and the one after that. “People are getting out more. We are aware that they are weary of being cooped up. However, by the same token, we are increasing our vulnerability to influenza as well as COVID.”
How to prepare for flu season
The flu and COVID-19 are both potentially harmful diseases. The coronavirus and flu viruses both propagate in similar ways; therefore, it is likely that the masking, physical isolation, and other measures that are employed to stop the transmission of the coronavirus are also doing the same for the flu.
Complicating matters further is that the flu and COVID-19 often have overlapping symptoms. Flu can be deadly on its own, but it’s challenging for people to understand whether they have COVID or flu during this timeframe because more people will have symptoms such as fever, chills, body aches, difficulty breathing, and a cough. It can be complicated to tell the two apart.
But you can take these six steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here’s what you can do to be prepared for flu season:
- Get a flu shot. According to studies, getting the flu shot lowers your risk of getting the flu overall and reduces the likelihood that you’ll become ill if you do. Doctors claim that the flu shot protects you and everyone around you. According to the CDC, everyone above the age of six months should get vaccinated. Doctors advise being vaccinated in September and October to prepare for the early stages of the flu season. Recent years have shown them that the flu season can start earlier and persist much longer. Therefore, getting the flu shot as soon as it becomes available is essential.
- Put on a mask. Even if you’ve had your COVID-19 and flu shots, you should still wear a mask when you’re out in public, especially if it’s crowded indoors or outside. During the flu season, doctors advise patients to wear masks. Not simply COVID, but a wide variety of viruses can be harmful.
- Maintain vigilance on safety measures. Flu viruses are also spread by droplets from the mouth or nose, similar to COVID-19. Many of the actions you’ve done to limit the spread of COVID-19, including getting vaccinated, wearing a mask in public, standing six feet away from people, and washing your hands frequently, could potentially lessen your risk of contracting the flu virus.
- Recognize what to do if you feeling sick. Numerous symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar, including fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and muscle aches. Dial your doctor if you experience these symptoms. They can advise you on what to do next and whether you need to get tested for the flu or COVID-19. They may prescribe an antiviral drug that will specifically treat COVID or the flu.
- Fill up the medical cabinet. The flu can also be prepared for at home. A fever-reducer, a pain killer for muscle aches, cough syrup, a thermometer, and utilized natural remedies such as Immune Response 365 to support your immune system recommended by doctors to have on hand in case this occurs. Get some flu and cold medicine to aid with any possible coughing and nasal congestion. A pulse oximeter, a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood, may also be helpful if your health puts you at risk for severe disease.
- If you’re unwell, stay home and get tested for COVID-19. To prevent spreading the flu or COVID-19 to others, you should stay home until you feel better. You’ll also want to get tested as soon as you can for COVID-19 because both viruses cause similar symptoms. Until you can get tested, understand what you’re dealing with, and determine the best course of action for yourself, make sure you’re not going to work and isolate yourself.
Another contagious viral infection particularly prevalent in the winter is the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV (which typically affects children) (a stomach bug). Numerous suggestions for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and the flu can also aid in thwarting the transmission of these viruses. During the winter, it’s a good idea to wash your hands frequently, sanitize high-touch areas, use proper cough etiquette, and remain in while you’re sick.
However, they are much more crucial now because COVID-19’s additional layer is still in effect. All of these protective measures will require a lot of practice. Masks, for instance, can become a commonplace item in our lives during these periods of extreme respiratory sickness. And that’s okay if we can safeguard individuals and reduce the number of incidents. By taking these precautions, we guard ourselves and keep an eye on the people around us.