As health care systems across the U.S. are experiencing or preparing for surges in individuals with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) this fall and winter, the potential for cocirculation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza viruses poses added challenges for clinicians and public health.
Recent reports suggest that influenza activity can be influenced substantially by non-pharmaceutical measures implemented to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., use of face masks, social distancing, restrictions on public gatherings, travel restrictions) and other factors influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e., reduced domestic and international travel). In early spring of 2020, sharp declines in influenza activity coincided with implementation of SARS CoV-2 control measures in the U.S.
The clinical and public health effects of influenza in the U.S. for the upcoming winter during the COVID-19 pandemic are difficult to predict and could vary widely by location and by extent of SARS-CoV-2 community mitigation measures. Annual vaccination remains the best tool for preventing influenza and vaccine availability is projected at record levels. Bottom line get your influenza vaccine, it could help in preventing the spread of the flu in your center and protect your residents!
Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, stay safe, mask up and stay tuned!