- Flu Facts
- Flu Prevention
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Flu
While flu is only one, many other infectious diseases are preventable, thanks to the power of vaccines! In this series, we’ll take you through the know-how on viruses and vaccines so you have all the factual information you need to protect yourself, your family, and your community.
As we head into the 2023-2024 school year, the COVID-19 pandemic can sometimes feel like a lifetime ago. While we did our best to protect ourselves against COVID-19 we were also creating unexpected positive outcomes regarding our ongoing fight against the flu. Precautions like masking and social distancing led to a steep decline in flu cases. In a 2021 Harvard article, the CDC reported that it had logged 1,316 positive flu cases in its surveillance network between September 2020 and the end of January 2021. During that same period in 2019, the CDC recorded nearly 130,000 cases. This was promising news, but we will be facing increased flu cases now that fewer precautions are being taken. The past three years have highlighted how important vaccination, testing, and treatment is.
Flu prevention is imperative for people of all ages. In order to prepare for the next season, here are some steps you can take:
Get your Flu Vaccine – the CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. The vaccine is updated every year to protect against various strains. Everyone six months and older should get an annual flu vaccine (unless your doctor or healthcare provider tells you otherwise).
Double Protection – consider getting your flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine and/or booster simultaneously. This is an easy way to be protected and prevent serious illness.
Get Tested – symptoms of flu, COVID-19, and other illnesses can overlap. Having an accurate diagnosis is important when your medical team is deciding what your treatment should be.
Get Treatment – if you are sick, speak to your doctor or medical provider and seek treatment. According to the CDC, antiviral drugs can make flu illness milder and shorten your sick time. They may also prevent serious flu complications.
Take Actions Every Day – wash your hands regularly, wear a mask if you are feeling sick, and stay home if you test positive for the flu or COVID-19. These should all be second nature to us after the past three years!
Preparation, protection, and treatment can help you and your loved ones avoid getting seriously ill. With the lessons we learned from the pandemic, we should feel more prepared than ever!