This year’s flu season will be unlike any other we’ve seen. But a recent study may offer some hope. It appears that many of the measures we’ve been taking to stop the spread of COVID-19 may have a significant impact on the number of people who contract influenza.
So, let’s take a look at what researchers discovered and what you can do to protect yourself from getting sick as we reach the peak of flu season.
Researchers with the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention are anticipating lower than usual flu cases. A study found that interventions aimed against coronavirus transmission, plus influenza vaccination, could substantially reduce influenza incidence. Those are the findings from a recent study aimed at determining if the strategies being used to reduce COVID-19 infections are helping to combat the spread of influenza.
These findings suggest that certain community alleviation measures might be useful additions to influenza vaccination during influenza seasons, particularly for populations at the highest risk for developing severe disease or complications. This means recommendations to stay at home and socially distance, as well as mandatory use of masks, may have a significant effect on the number of people affected with influenza.
The CDC has been worked with researchers at universities and hospitals since the 2003-2004 flu season to estimate how well the flu vaccine works through observational studies using laboratory-confirmed flu as the outcome.
Scientists are working to develop an effective vaccine for coronavirus. In the meantime, to prevent explosive outbreaks, physical distancing measures and mask-wearing are needed.
The physical distancing measures needed may vary over time as infection rates rise and fall. Researchers say you can expect some level of continued physical distancing for an extended period. It won’t be before a highly effective vaccine can be developed, tested and mass-produced that you’ll see this change.
You can also talk to your doctor to find out what else you can do to decrease your risk. For your protection and the protection of others, all North Ohio Heart/Ohio Medical Group providers will wear a mask while caring for you. That’s in addition to the other precautions we are taking.
CDC recommends getting a flu vaccination in September or October but getting vaccinated anytime during the flu season can help protect you. To get the flu shot, contact your North Ohio Heart/Ohio Medical Group primary care physician, or if you don’t have one, you can find a doctor online.
To learn more about ways to decrease your risk of getting the flu, our free guide “How To Get Rid Of The Flu or Not Get It At All” can help. Download it today to learn the most effective ways to avoid the flu.
And if you’d like to learn more about the characteristics of both influenza and COVID-19, visit our new interactive webpage. You’ll find all of the similarities and differences between the viruses and other ways to protect yourself this flu season.