What Treatment Is Recommended
Generally, the first line in treatment is called supportive care, which incorporates rest, hydration, and over-the-counter pain relievers.
For high-risk patients, doctors may opt to treat with an antiviral, such as Tamiflu for certain influenza strains. Covid antivirals are also utilized under emergency use approval. Dr. Parikh suggests physicians may start prescribing both antivirals at once but can be tricky due to drug-to-drug interaction.
The gold standard is to get tested for both influenza and COVID-19, especially if the patient is immunocompromised so that higher-risk individuals can start early treatment options.
If someone has mild symptoms, experts say it is best to isolate at home to prevent further spread.
Both the flu and Covid-19 vaccinations are recommended in preventing infection, particularly as the flu season is expected to possibly last until this June. The probability of contracting flurona is higher for those unvaccinated for both viruses.
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Seasonal Flu: Symptoms And Treatment
The seasonal flu can cause severe illness or complications. Certain groups of people have a higher risk of developing serious health conditions from the flu.
Flu is most common during the fall and winter months. Peak levels generally occur between late December and early March. There are many different strains of flu, and they tend to change each year.
You can avoid the seasonal flu by getting vaccinated every year.
Why The Flu Vaccine Is Reformulated Every Year
Welcome to National Influenza Vaccination Week, established in 2005 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote vaccination awareness to the general public. In that spirit, Dr. Sebeen Razzaq-Ahmed and the team here at East Meadow Medical P.C. remind you to get your annual flu vaccine. You may be one of the many people we hear ask why they need to get vaccinated each year. Well, were here to answer that for you!
Its no secret that influenza, commonly called the flu, is inconvenient, nasty, and downright deadly. The 2017-2018 flu season was among the worst on record, afflicting and killing more Americans about 80,000 than in any season dating back more than three decades. Because the flu is so common, not to mention so deadly, we always recommend that anyone whos able to gets an updated vaccine each year.
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Flu Vaccine Myths And Facts
The reason so many people fail to get a flu vaccine every year is because they have some misconceptions about it works, Zucker said. She knows people may say that the vaccine isnt effective, or that they got a flu shot but still got sick, so its not worth it. But those excuses arent exactly true, she said, and theyre not reasons to skip out on your shot.
Its correct that the flu vaccine may not be as effective, for example, as say, the measles vaccine, where with two MMR vaccines, you can prevent 99 percent of cases. With the flu, it may be around 60 percent, she said. But if you think about preventing 60 percent of infections among all New Yorkers, thats a huge number.
Plus, getting vaccinated means that if you do still get sick, it will be less severe than if you never got a flu shot. Flu vaccines prevent hospitalization and reduce the risk of dying from influenza.
Were still learning a lot about the flu from year to year, Morse said, but one thing he hopes has been learned is that we do need to get more people to take the vaccine.
Though not perfectly effective, it still is a lot better than not having it, he added.
Even if the flu vaccine is only 50 percent effective, Morse said that if everyone got their flu shot then hypothetically, that would be enough immunity in the population to stop the virus from spreading.
Theres almost no reason why people shouldnt get a flu shot, Zucker noted, and for some people, its especially important to get one.
When To Expect Flu Season To Start Peak And End This Yearaccording To Experts
No matter how much COVID-19 has been on your mind, there are other respiratory viruses that are looking for a piece of you. Top among them, at least in terms of how sick you can get: the flu.
Technically, you can get the flu any time of year, but the virus does tend to infect people more during certain times of the year, beginning in the fall. When is flu season exactly, though? Heres what you need to know.
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Things To Know This Flu Season
The flu is serious, contagious, and potentially fatal, especially for those with underlying health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Did you know, last year close to 2,000 New Yorkers died from influenza and pneumonia? The best way to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of the flu is by getting a flu shot every year. Everyone six months and older should get vaccinated for the flu every year.Experts dont know when flu season will start, how severe it will be, or how long it will last, but they know its coming. Here are five things everyone needs to know this flu season:
- Need a flu shot? Find an near you to get vaccinated.
New York State Department Of Health Issues Advisory In Response To Elevated Flu Activity
NEW YORK The New York State Department of Health has issued an advisory in response to elevated flu activity across the state.
The following advisory was sent to public and private schools:
“NYSDOH conducts routine influenza surveillance each October through May. Influenza is unpredictable and while it is not uncommon for influenza activity to extend into late spring, current activity remains elevated and widespread. Therefore, NYSDOH is extending the surveillance season beyond May until influenza activity has decreased.
Surveillance data has shown an unusual bimodal distribution of influenza activity during the 2021-22 season. Following consistent declines during January and low rates in February, laboratory-confirmed influenza cases and hospitalizations have been steadily rising since March with significant increases in lab-confirmed cases occurring throughout April. It is unknown if activity will remain at high levels or continue to increase in the upcoming weeks.”
According to the advisory, influenza A has been the predominant influenza virus circulating this season, accounting for 90% of all NYS influenza cases reported last week.
The NYSDOH encourages the following preventive measures to reduce the risk of influenza transmission in schools and other settings:
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How Does The Flu Differ From A Cold
The flu and cold are both respiratory illnesses, but different viruses cause them. The flu has more intense symptoms that often come on more suddenly. However, they have similar symptoms, so it can be difficult to tell the difference.
Flu symptoms include:
- Muscle and body aches
- Fatigue and weakness
If you think you feel flu symptoms, call your doctor. If you do not have one, call Dr. Belle at .
A Look At Past Flu Seasons
The strain of the flu that circulates can change from year to year. The flu vaccine is adjusted to try to predict which strain will predominate during the coming flu season.
Here is a look at the flu seasons over the last 10 years:
2018-2019 Flu Season:
2017-2018 Flu Season:
- Most common strain:Influenza A
2016-2017 Flu Season:
- Most common strain:Influenza A
2015-2016 Flu Season:
- Most common strain:2009 H1N1 influenza A
2014-2015 Flu Season:
- Most common strain:Influenza A
2013-2014 Flu Season:
- Most common strain:2009 H1N1 influenza A
2012-2013 Flu Season:
- Most common strain:Influenza A
2011-2012 Flu Season:
- Most common strain:Influenza A
2010-2011 Flu Season:
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The Exact Timing Can Vary
When flu season starts and ends depends on where you live. If you are in the United States, flu season usually starts in the fall.
Although flu season in the U.S. is usually in the winter, the severity and timing of a flu season vary from year to year.
This article will go over when flu season occurs in different parts of the world. You’ll also learn which months the flu is active and when flu season is over.
When Is The Best Time To Get Your Flu Shot
Getting your flu shot in this month gives you your best chance of avoiding the flu
The signs in the pharmacy reminding you to get your flu shot start cropping up in late summer, but is that really the best time for a flu shot? If you get a flu shot in August, will it last until springtime? In past years, Ive been given conflicting information from pharmacists, doctors and other medical professionals, so before getting my vaccine this year, I wanted to check in with a few doctors to get their take.
To start with, the optimal time to get your flu shot depends on who you are and where you will be during flu season, Dr. Laurie Mortara, an infectious disease specialist at Long Beach Medical Center in Long Beach, California, tells me.
Of the three doctors I spoke with, Mortara and Dr. Thomas Vovan, a specialist in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, agree that flu season typically lasts from October through May. Dr. Marjan Karimabadi of MemorialCare Medical Group in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, put it starting on Sept. 1 and lasting through April 30, but notes that the actual flu season is not clearly defined and changes from year to year. Vovan says the flu season usually peaks in February.
Although there is not much direct data available on how long the vaccine protection lasts in body, it is sufficient to carry the immunity through the flu season, Karimabadi adds.
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Spreading Viruses In School
“It’s not just flu. It’s all the other respiratory viruses,” Webby said. These include not only influenza, but respiratory syncytial virus or RSV, adenoviruses, the coronavirus strains that cause the common cold, rhinoviruses and others.
“I certainly think as the mitigation measures as we have in place for Covid come down and kids go back to school in person and we all start traveling again, particularly internationally, we know all sorts of respiratory viruses are going to have much more opportunities to spread,” Lynette Brammer, who leads the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Domestic Influenza Surveillance Team, told CNN.
“And we certainly expect that flu and all the other respiratory viruses that have been low over the last year will come back,” she added.
“In certain ways, we have returned back to normal. You start putting kids together and you will get viruses.”
However, Brammer is cautious about making predictions.
“Flu is always unpredictable, and I feel like right now it’s more true than ever,” Brammer said.
There’s a second reason to think the 2021-2022 influenza season might be a bad one. There’s a theory, not well documented, that the human body’s immune response is naturally boosted by repeated, annual exposures to viruses such as flu. These exposures might not be enough to make people sick, but they’re enough to remind the immune system to keep up its defenses.
“There probably are going to be very large RSV epidemics.”
How Bad Will The 2018
Last years flu season was the worst in nearly a decade. About 80,000 people across the country died of the flu or flu-related complications, per the CDC. In New York alone, there were 23,377 flu-related hospitalizations and six pediatric deaths.
Experts dont yet know how bad this years flu season will be, though, because every season is different.
Theres a saying, If youve seen one flu season, youve seen one flu season, Zucker said.
Part of that uncertainty comes from the fact that there are different prominent influenza strains each year. Experts wont know what flu season has in store until they start to see some flu activity.
And honestly, we can start with one strain in November and December, and end up with a different outbreak in February, Zucker said. Thats why we do surveillance and issue reports every week. We have to see how things unfold. Its also why we want people to get vaccinated now, so that theyre protected when the influenza virus arrives.
Dr. Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia Universitys Mailman School of Public Health echoed this, saying that the flu is full of surprises. There is a way to get some insight about the upcoming flu season, though.
In the southern hemisphere, they get six months before we do, so it gives us a head start of what were likely to see come here six months later in our winter, he said.
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Get Ready To Live Through Covid
The flu is reliably seasonal. The dominant strains for a given year usually start circulating in October and November before reaching their peak between December and February. Then the virus peters out over the next few months, then a new mutation arrives the next fall.
Every year, influenza strains the US health care system. In the flu season before Covid-19 arrived, 2018-2019, an estimated 29 million Americans were infected, there were more than 380,000 flu-related hospitalizations, and 28,000 people died from the virus. Covid-19 is not as bound by the calendar. US hospitals may endure not only a winter wave, in tandem with the flu, but also periodic spikes throughout the year as well. Both 2020 and 2021 saw small surges in the summer, followed by a massive wave once winter and the cold weather hit.
It is sort of the worst of both worlds, said Emily Martin, a University of Michigan epidemiologist. Youre always gonna expect a really bad winter season, but then you might have other bad times as well.
The reasons for seasonality are complex. But generally speaking, viruses survive better in colder environments and peoples behavior also tends to change when the weather gets cold spending more time inside, traveling for the holidays in ways that makes it easier for pathogens to spread.
The steps to avoid worst-case scenarios of overwhelmed hospitals and rationed care might sound familiar.
When Can You Start Taking Your Allergy Medications
As a general rule, allergy treatment should begin at least a couple of weeks before the start of allergy season, to help you stay ahead of the itching, sneezing, drippy nose, and wheezing. “The majority of hay fever medications work best if started before a pollen season begins,” Luz Fonacier, MD, head of allergy at NYU Langone HospitalLong Island and president of the ACAAI, told Health.
If you use nasal antihistamines, steroids, oral antihistamines, or eye drops for seasonal allergies, Dr. Fonacier advised against waiting until your symptoms are unbearable to start treatment. And don’t stop taking them too early, either. “The misery can linger until the end of the season, so wait a few weeks before stopping treatment,” Dr. Fonacier said.
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Vaccine Supply And Distribution
How much influenza vaccine is projected to be available for the 2021-2022 influenza season?
Flu vaccine is produced by private manufacturers, so supply depends on manufacturers. Vaccine manufacturers have projected that they will supply the United States with as many as 188 million to 200 million doses of influenza vaccine for the 2021-2022 season. These projections may change as the season progresses. All flu vaccines for the 2021-2022 season will be quadrivalent . Most will be thimerosal-free or thimerosal-reduced vaccine and about 18% of flu vaccines will be egg-free.
Where can I find information about vaccine supply?
Special Consideration Regarding Egg Allergy
People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine that is otherwise appropriate. People who have a history of severe egg allergy should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Two completely egg-free flu vaccine options are available: quadrivalent recombinant vaccine and quadrivalent cell-based vaccine.
Is The Flu Dangerous For Pregnant People
Yes. Flu can be very dangerous for pregnant people and their babies. The changes in immune, heart and lung function during pregnancy make you more likely to get seriously ill from the flu. If you get the flu while pregnant, it also increases your chance for complications, such as premature labor and delivery, and birth defects.
Getting a flu shot during your pregnancy helps protect both you and your baby. When you get vaccinated, your body makes antibodies that are passed to your baby, which helps protect them during their first few months of life, before they are able to start getting their own annual flu vaccinations.
Flu shots have safely been given to millions of people, including pregnant people, over many years. Numerous studies show that the flu vaccine is safe and effective for pregnant people and their babies.Pregnancy experts strongly recommend that all pregnant people get a flu shot. You can safely get the flu shot during any trimester.
Click here to view/download VYFs handout Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy.Learn more about flu and other vaccines recommended during pregnancy.
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How Effective Is The 2021 Flu Vaccine
Flu vaccines in general reduce the risk of influenza infection by 40-60 percent.
Each year, researchers in the United States analyze data about influenza from around the country, then design a vaccine to protect against the four most common variants of the flu. The vaccine is then referred to the FDAs Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee , which makes the recommendation on how to proceed.
The vaccine developed for the 2021-2022 flu season is similar to the flu vaccine from the 2020-2021 flu season, but is also matched with currently circulating flu viruses. This resulted in the addition of two updates with influenza A and the influenza A vaccine virus components, according to the CDC.
The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick, said Michael Mancenido, MD, an infectious disease specialist with Rochester Regional Health. Flu shots are available at most local pharmacies, primary care offices, and community health clinics. Many of these places allow for walk-in appointments, so take some time to protect your health and get the flu shot.
Flu season runs from early October through late May, with most cases picking up in late January to early February. Stay protected against any strains of the virus by getting vaccinated.