Influenza (flu) season lasts from October through May in the United States, with peak flu activity happening between December and March. The country’s flu activity has been unusual since the COVID-19 pandemic began, which could pose consequences for the upcoming season.
Furthermore, flu season in the Southern Hemisphere may indicate what’s to come in the United States. In particular, Australia has been experiencing an unusual surge in flu activity early in the season. Health experts now warn that the same could happen in the United States later this year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu caused between 9 million and 41 million illnesses each year in the United States from 2010-2020.
How to Stay Healthy
The flu can cause serious complications for people of any age, but children and the elderly are especially vulnerable. To help keep your household healthy this flu season, consider the following suggestions:
- Get the flu vaccine. Being vaccinated against the flu is your best chance of preventing the illness. The CDC recommends that anyone age 6 months and older get a flu shot every year.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay away from others when you feel unwell. Because flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar, doctors say it’s best to get tested to know what you have.
- Wash your hands often using soap and warm water to protect against germs. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes to prevent the spread of germs.
- Get quality sleep, stay active and drink plenty of water to keep your immune system strong.
- Eat a nutritious diet rich in healthy grains, fruits, vegetables and fiber.
September and October are the best months to get vaccinated against the flu, so don’t delay getting your shot. Contact your doctor today to learn more about vaccines.
By Zywave, Inc.