Public Health Officials are preparing for seasonal influenza

COVID-19 may be the most prominent virus of concern in the U.S. now, but public health officials also are preparing for seasonal influenza. And indications are it could be a different season than what the U.S. experienced the past two years.  During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. experienced a steep drop in influenza rates due to masking and social distancing measures.  Dr. Abinash Virk, an Infectious Diseases Specialist at Mayo Clinic stated to KAUS News that we will see an increase in influenza rates this winter due to the fact that many people have stopped masking…

Seasonal influenza, like COVID-19, is a contagious respiratory illness that disproportionately affects adults ages 65 and older. However, they are not the same viruses. The similarity and differences of the two viruses also means it can be difficult to discern between the two when the symptoms overlap. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that those 65 and older receive a higher-dose.  

All people over the age of 6 months are encouraged to get their flu vaccination when available in their local community. The CDC recommends people are vaccinated for flu by the end of October to ensure they are fully vaccinated for the influenza season.