How bad is flu season, and when should I get an injection?

  • This year’s flu season in the US could be bad, based on what happened in Australia.
  • Getting a flu shot in October or November is a good idea.
  • Strategic concealment during cold and flu season can make all the difference.

As flu season approaches in the US, there is potential uncertainty.”TwinFermentation began to appear again.

“This could be a very good year,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt. NPR’s Up First Friday“We have an increase in COVID, and at the same time an increase in influenza.”

One of the main reasons infectious disease experts are particularly concerned this year is that Australia’s 2022 flu season has been so bad, what happens during a winter flu wave in the Southern Hemisphere often portends flu season in the United States well.

Australian flu cases graph year-over-year, as 2022 looks bad


Australian Department of Health



Leading virologist Florian Kramer says it’s too early to say this season will be cloudy.

“Of course the flu can come back stronger than usual, because there are a lot of naive pillars around,” he told Insider, referring to people who He may not have had the flu in recent yearsOr at all, in the case of young children.

Here are two simple measures Kramer uses for preparation.

Don’t get the flu shot early, but get it by the end of November

Kramer, who lives in New York where flu activity is currently low, said he plans to wait until late November to get vaccinated this year.

“I always do it, and I won’t be out of it this year,” he said.

Other experts agree. Usually the best time to get a flu shot is October or NovemberOptimal protection typically lasts between four and six months, and the flu season can extend into spring. “The season has gone on for too long,” Kramer said last year, and he wants to maximize his protection.

Even in June, several presumed flu cases were still being reported across states including Colorado, Florida and Washington, DC:

Map of the United States showing flu activity in the spring - as the bad spots spread


CDC . Influenza Show



But, if you live in an area of ​​the country Where the flu really escalatesIn Texas or DC, it may be prudent to get a flu shot sooner rather than later:

US map showing flu activity now - with cases in Texas, DC


CDC . Influenza Show



The good news is that this year’s flu vaccine It must be exactly what is being traded Abroad: Lots of influenza A.

Getting vaccinated will be especially important for young children under age 3, who may not have been exposed to the flu virus yet in their lives.

Smart disguise can make the flu go away

Fortunately, influenza, compared to COVID, is relatively easy to stop, Kramer said, by staying home when we get sick, and by using masks in places where other people might get sick.

“That’s why I think it’s a good idea during the winter or during the cold season for people in health care facilities to wear masks, isn’t it?” he added. After all, during the 2020-2021 flu season, when most people were still wearing masks to avoid COVID, The flu is almost gone.

“You kind of avoid a lot of things,” Kramer said. “Honestly, personally, I’ll be wearing a mask on the subway and in planes from now on during the cold season, for sure.”

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