Flu activity is unusually low at this time but may increase in the coming month per the CDC’s FluView. Throughout the fall, public health officials urged Americans to get a flu vaccine to avoid a “twindemic” that could occur if both the flu and COVID-19 overwhelmed hospitals. Pharmacies and health care organizations ordered more flu vaccines this year to prepare for a surge.
During the next few months, doctors and health care workers are urging the same precautions to keep both flu cases and COVID-19 cases low:
- Get a vaccine
- Wear a mask
- Handwash frequently
- Avoid gatherings as much as possible
During last year’s flu season, which ran from October 1 to April 4, the U.S. recorded more than 400,000 hospitalizations and more than 20,000 deaths, according to a CDC estimate. “There is some data that we are concerned about, that one virus may be causing an environment in the lungs that makes it easier for the other virus to infect. There is much speculation about that right now and it’s serious enough for us to pay attention to co-infections and monitor them carefully as we enter the winter season,” said Tim Uyeki, chief medical officer of the CDC’s flu division.
Handwashing, masking, and not sharing your drinks with others is effective for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and also effective for preventing the spread of the flu. Remember, do the right thing; it only takes a few minutes to share a virus if you are in a group and/or not wearing a mask. As always, wash your hands frequently too!
Stay the course, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!