We are already in the middle of autumn and therefore, the temperatures begin to drop significantly, so we will soon be starting the flu season, which lasts throughout the winter.
Health experts in the United States warn that this year, the country could go through a “serious” flu season, derived from the fact that there are many people who have not developed the necessary immunity to deal with the disease in recent years, derived from the confinement due to the Covid pandemic, and have resumed their social life.
To this should be added that measures against the coronavirus, such as social distancing and the use of masks, have been left behind, so it is now much more likely that people come into contact with the flu virus, compared to to what happened in 2020 and 2021.
Also, fewer people are likely to be immune to the flu virus this year because fewer people have contracted the virus in the last 2 years, given that they stayed home most of the time (and may continue to do so). .
“As a population, everyone’s immunity to the flu has been reduced thanks to recent shutdowns, quarantines, and social distancing… When the flu virus returns, it will likely be more contagious in the past and have more opportunity to cause problems in the past healthy people,” says Peter Ashman, an otolaryngologist at ENT and Allergy Associates.
As explained by Dr. Ashman, in a normal year, exposure to the influenza virus generates some “herd immunity”, since between 10 and 30% of the population is exposed to influenza in a normal influenza season. But fewer people were exposed in 2020 and 2021, resulting in decreased natural immunity.
Tips to avoid getting sick this upcoming flu season
1) Really distinguish that it is this disease. Although the first symptoms of the flu may resemble those of the common cold, the flu can present itself with additional and more dangerous symptoms. Symptoms of the common cold include sore throat, nasal congestion, sinus pain, and pressure.
A significant feature is high fever. If you have more than 100 °F, as well as body aches, fatigue, even nausea and vomiting, then you can spread it to others, so it is recommended to limit contact with others.
If you meet all these characteristics, it is recommended that you see a doctor immediately to avoid more serious and lasting conditions, including sinusitis.
2) Get vaccinated and preventative treatment. The best and most common way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot. People can get a flu shot at hundreds of locations in the New York metropolitan area, including pharmacies.
It usually takes 2 weeks for flu shots to become effective while your body develops antibodies against the virus. During this time, the process of creating those antibodies and the immune response can cause very mild symptoms similar to the common cold for a few days.