Though the us is about to fight the two-year mark of handling the COVID-19 pandemic, it's not the just infectious disease that need to be on people's radars right now—the upcoming flu season (2021-2022), could be an ext severe 보다 we've seen in the recent past.

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That information originates from Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, manager of the Centers for an illness Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Walensky issued that warning Wednesday during a push briefing through the White residence COVID-19 solution Team and other public wellness officials.



"Last year there were very couple of flu cases, largely since of masking and physical distancing and also other prevention steps put in location for the COVID-19 pandemic" Dr. Walensky said. "With usually flu virus task since march of 2020, CDC's flu specialists are involved that diminished population-level immunity to the seasonal flu can place united state at threat for a perhaps severe flu season this year."

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CDC data shows those dramatically low numbers—between October 3, 2020 and July 24, 2021, the CDC saw only 2,136 positive flu tests out of 1.3 million specimens experiment by clinical laboratories, according to official data provided to JAMA. Only 736 deaths were taped as influenza. For reference, the 2019–2020 flu season observed an approximated 35 million flu-related illnesses and 20,000 flu-related deaths, the CDC says.

To assist stave off a more severe flu season—and to prevent much more hospitals from being overwhelmed—Dr. Walensky walk on come urge human being to no only obtain their yearly flu shooting this year, but additionally get vaccinated against COVID-19 if castle haven't already. She detailed that, despite hospitalization rates for COVID-19 room on the decline right now, part hospitals are still at full capacity, which might lead to issues with a significant flu season. Annually in the US, influenza "results in 140,000–710,000 hospitalizations—another toy fee we should work tough to avoid," stated Dr. Walensky.

COVID-19 fatigue may likewise be a contributing factor to a potentially much more severe flu season, Richard Watkins, MD, an infectious an illness physician and professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio clinical University, speak With more people being out and about—despite concerns of COVID—"there is a higher risk of gaining the flu," claims Dr. Watkins.

It's vital to note though the a major flu season is just a possibility—nothing is known for details as of yet. Amesh A. Adalja points come the flu season those in the southerly hemisphere just experienced as potential clues to what ours will look favor (they have their flu season before ours—our summer is your winter—and therefore it's commonly a an excellent predictor of just how our flu season will rotate out). "The southerly hemisphere had an additional light flu season, which might portend a light flu season for us," claims Dr. Adalja.

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Overall, the best way to safeguard yourself and others native a maybe severe flu season, is to proceed the preventative steps that you've offered in the past versus the flu, COVID-19, and other famous illnesses. "Mask-wearing, society distancing, and hand washing will also assist lower the risk," states Dr. Watkins.

And due to the fact that immunizations—both the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine—are essential to protecting yourself from the viruses, Dr. Walensky also stressed in the news conference the it's completely safe to gain your annual flu vaccine through your COVID-19 shot.

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"Just choose with COVID-19, we require as many civilization as feasible to it is in vaccinated because that influenza, therefore that us can administer protection for those who are at many risk," Dr. Walensky said. Again, per Dr. Walensky, that includes: "Adults who space over 65, those of any type of age who have actually chronic problems such as asthma, heart an illness or diabetes, and also children, particularly under 5 who are at threat of significant complications from the flu."