November marks the beginning of flu season. And this year may be worse than previous years.
Last year’s flu season was essentially non-existent. Experts reviewing cases, hospitalizations, and deaths reported the last year’s flu season had just 1 percent of the activity of a normal season.
This year, experts predict flu season to be far more severe than an average year. For reference, the 2019-2020 flu season saw 35 million cases, resulting in 16 million medical visits and 380,000 hospitalizations.
Why Will This Flu Season Be Worse?
The predicted rise in flu cases this year has multiple causes.
First, last year’s low numbers mean less immunity for this year. Most natural immunity comes from recent flu infection. With record low flu cases last year, a lack in immunity will leave people more susceptible to catching it.
Second, the flu is more likely to spread as covid restrictions are relaxed. Public health measures that slowed the spread of covid also helped slow down the flu. Relaxing those restrictions is likely to result in higher case numbers.
Last, this flu season may coincide with a rise in covid cases. Many experts currently fear the possibility of a “twindemic”. As both covid and flu cases rise, the public health system will need to handle each of these rises at once.
How Can I Prepare for Flu Season?
Evaluate Your Flu Risk
Like covid, the flu does not impact everyone equally. There are certain at-risk groups that should be particularly mindful.
According to the CDC, people with the following conditions are at high risk for developing flu complications:
- Adults 65 years and older
- Children younger than 2 years old
- Neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions
- Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
- Chronic lung disease (such as COPD and cystic fibrosis)
- Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
- Heart disease
- Kidney diseases
- Liver disorders
- Metabolic disorders
- Those who are obese with a body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher
- People younger than 19 years old on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
- Immunocompromised individuals
- People who have had a stroke
Schedule A Flu Shot
A flu vaccine is the best way to prevent infection and severe symptoms. Experts highly recommend flu vaccinations, especially for those who do not regularly receive them.
Some people are more fearful about getting a flu shot because they have been recently vaccinated for covid. The CDC announced that flu vaccinations and covid vaccinations can be taken at any time without regard of one another.
How Live Urgent Care Can Help You Fight Flu Season
At Live Urgent Care, we offer a wide variety of vaccinations, including flu shots at our Bellmawr location. You can book your appointment ahead of time or walk in to get your flu vaccine at our Bellmawr Urgent Care center.
Flu & Covid Testing
For many people, symptoms alone can leave one to question if they have the flu or covid. All 4 Live Urgent Care locations can help with this.
At any of our locations, you can receive a covid test to help you rule out the possibility of covid infection. At our Bellmawr location, you can also receive a flu test to determine flu infection.
Once a diagnosis is clear, the right medication can help you get through the flu. At our Bellmawr Urgent Care location, we can prescribe medication that will help alleviate flu symptoms and get you feeling well sooner.
Handle flu season well this year with help from Live Urgent Care. Call ahead, book online, or walk in for fast, friendly service.