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What “Flurona” Means for the Mid-Pandemic 2022 Flu Season

Flu season is right here — and we’re nonetheless within the midst of a pandemic. Whereas consultants cannot predict precisely what is going to occur over the subsequent a number of months, how folks deal with the COVID-19 pandemic may immediately influence the unfold and severity of influenza. And with the emergence of a brand new buzzword, flurona, folks understandably have extra questions than ever.

Right here’s what consultants know up to now about this yr’s pandemic flu season — and what they advocate for curbing the unfold of each COVID-19 and influenza.

When does flu season begin and the way lengthy does it final?

Usually, flu season begins within the fall and peaks in early winter, with circumstances dwindling within the later spring months. Neha Vyas, M.D., a household medication doctor at Cleveland Clinic, says circumstances can begin as early as September and typically final even via Could. The precise time-frame for when flu circumstances start to unfold, peak, and dwindle can fluctuate by area.

In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older folks, younger kids, those that are pregnant, and folks with long-term well being situations are at better threat for flu problems.

How harmful is the flu?

The very first thing to know: Irrespective of how “harmful” a given flu season is, it’s essential to guard your self — and, as with the COVID-19 pandemic, to forestall the unfold to people who find themselves at greater threat. The flu is frequent — the CDC estimates that thousands and thousands of individuals get it yearly — nevertheless it nonetheless can land you within the hospital and even kill you. Sure, older folks and younger kids are examples of those that usually tend to expertise extreme circumstances, however usually wholesome, 20-somethings get sick as nicely.

Dana Hawkinson, M.D., assistant professor of infectious ailments at he College of Kansas, says researchers take a look at flu exercise within the southern hemisphere to grasp extra about flu season right here. However decrease or greater influenza charges could also be based mostly on public well being measures associated to COVID-19, making it much more essential we observe public pointers that assist forestall its unfold.

“We hope that the general public well being steerage and adherence to rules resembling bodily distancing, not assembly in giant teams, and hand hygiene may have a constructive influence on flu charges,” he says.

What signs ought to I be careful for?

Even when your case does not require a physician’s go to, having the flu is not any picnic. In response to the CDC, flu signs embody:

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