Everything You Need to Know for Flu Season 2022
Winter is coming, and it may bring flu and COVID-19 like never before. Health experts predict that we could see a significant uptick in cases of both diseases.
In response, they shared numerous tips on how you can protect yourself. Learn more about them to have a fun and safe holiday season.
This article will tell you everything you must know about flu season 2022. That includes the increased risk, required vaccines, and recommended best practices.
“Twindemic” of COVID-19 and flu
Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease professor at Vanderbilt University, coined the term “twindemic” for the upcoming upsurge of COVID and influenza.
He based this prediction on the recent rise of both diseases during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter. Often, the same phenomenon also occurs north of the equator.
Flu returned to some countries like Australia. Then, it ramped up earlier than normal. As a result, the region experienced one of its worst flu seasons.
Schaffner warned, “If we have a serious influenza season, and if the omicron variants continue to cause mild disease, the coming winter could be a much worse flu season than COVID.”
He also said that these two viruses could worsen flu season 2022. The Centers for Disease Control says the disease causes between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations yearly.
Some people may point out that we did not pay attention to this number during the COVID pandemic. However, its guidelines helped prevent the spread of influenza.
Staying indoors, wearing masks, and avoiding public spaces kept COVID-19 and the flu in check. Nowadays, we have mostly abandoned these measures.
Dr. Alicia Fry, leader of influenza prevention for the CDC, stated, “As the community mitigation measures start to fade around the world and people return to their normal activities, flu has started to spread around the world.”
People at risk during flu season 2022
The CDC recently reported that influenza is starting to spread in the southern states, such as Texas. Worse, young children could face higher risks this year.
Numerous findings suggest that COVID often causes mild symptoms in young people. However, the flu could have a more significant impact on kids and seniors.
The current main flu strain is H3N2 tends to affect the elderly. However, most young people are now more susceptible as they have not been exposed to this illness for two years.
Dr. Helen Chu, assistant professor at the University of Washington, said children “will be seeing it for the first time, and none of them have any preexisting immunity.”
She pointed out that schools could drive the increased spread as face-to-face classes return. After all, students would bring the virus to their families.
The adults would spread the flu in offices and other locations. Thus, flu season 2022 could have a more significant impact than in previous periods.
There are other people at risk besides children and seniors. These include pregnant women and folks who have preexisting conditions.
How to stay safe during flu season 2022
You can avoid catching this disease as you did for COVID-19. Start by getting your flu vaccine. The CDC said you could take it along with the new COVID-19 booster.
Six-month-old babies and older people could have their flu shots. You may experience side effects like muscle aches, especially if you take both vaccines simultaneously.
There are various types of flu vaccines, such as standard-dose shots and nasal sprays. The CDC does not recommend a specific type for people under 65.
On the other hand, it recommends the Fluzone, Flublok, and Fluad vaccines for people over 65. The CDC says it triggers a more robust immune response for these folks.
You should also wear a mask if you are in public. Some countries have done it before the pandemic, so rest assured that it is a normal practice.
The mask could protect you from both the flu and COVID. Also, you should keep flu meds at home. These include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, cough syrup, and a thermometer.
You could purchase these over the counter as Tylenol, Advil, and Nyquil. If you have preexisting conditions, you may need a pulse oximeter during flu season 2022.
It would measure your oxygen levels which could indicate worsening symptoms. If you feel ill, you should stay indoors to recover and avoid COVID.
Nevertheless, you should get tested for the latter to seek treatment immediately. Fortunately, you can easily buy at-home COVID tests from pharmacies and online stores.
You should also keep yourself updated about flu season 2022. Doctors are not sure of the impact of the so-called twindemic in the coming months.
They would provide advisories and safety tips that you should follow. As a result, you could keep yourself and your family safe during the holidays.
Another thing you must do is follow Inquirer USA. It has the latest trends and news that can help you adapt to these uncertain times.