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Is Flu Season Over? Staying Protected Against Viruses in the Tridemic

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Posted on May 4, 2023
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Spring is here! This time of year, we may start to wonder whether flu season is truly over. While seasonal influenza activity has peaked and remains low nationally, it’s important to remain vigilant in protecting yourself and your family against other circulating viruses, such as COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Additionally, as news of avian (or bird) flu continues to circulate, it’s crucial to stay informed and prepared. Here are some tips for staying protected and healthy.

Get Vaccinated

The most effective way to protect yourself against flu, COVID-19, and other viruses is to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine is still recommended, even if flu activity has peaked, as there is still a risk of contracting the virus, and if you are around more vulnerable individuals such as children, pregnant women, older adults, and those with chronic health conditions.

Additionally, those who are eligible for a COVID-19 booster should consider getting one to increase their protection against the virus. You can get your COVID booster and flu shot at the same time.

While there is no vaccine yet to prevent RSV infection, scientists are working hard to develop one. If approved by the FDA, the CDC will have an official vote on recommendations followed by the CDC director’s approval. Once available, talk to your healthcare provider about potentially getting vaccinated.

Practice Good Hygiene

Besides getting vaccinated, it’s crucial to practice good hygiene habits to reduce your risk of contracting and spreading viruses. This includes washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. It’s also important to stay home if you are feeling sick and wear a mask in public settings, especially if you are unvaccinated or immunocompromised.

Test If You Are Sick

With different viruses circulating and some symptoms overlapping, it can be easy to confuse them. That’s why testing is so important. It’s fairly simple and quick to test for flu and other viruses and should be done at the first sign of symptoms. Plus, if you do get sick, you can identify what you have and let people around you know so they can stay safe, too.

Stay Informed

Staying informed about the latest news and developments related to flu season and other viruses can help you make informed decisions about your health. The CDC and Families Fighting Flu are great resources for up-to-date information and guidance on staying protected against the flu, as well as other viruses like COVID-19 and RSV.

CDC Dashboards to Bookmark

Respiratory Virus Hospitalization Surveillance Network (RESP-NET): An interactive dashboard updated weekly that can be used to follow trends and see comparisons of COVID-19, influenza, and RSV-associated hospitalization rates in different demographic groups.

National Emergency Department Visits for COVID-19, Influenza, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Also updated weekly, this site provides a combined view of emergency department visit data for multiple respiratory conditions as tracked by the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP).

Finally, while bird flu viruses do not normally infect humans, sporadic human infections with bird flu viruses have occurred. The CDC updates its website each week so you can stay up to date.

While flu season may have peaked, it’s important to remain vigilant in protecting yourself and your loved ones against other circulating viruses. Getting vaccinated, continuing to test, practicing good hygiene habits, and staying informed can help you stay healthy and protected during this tridemic. Remember to follow general health tips like masking, staying home if you are sick, washing your hands, and disinfecting surfaces to ensure you are always protected.

 

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