Australia is just now finishing up their winter season and it can be a preview of what might happen here in Southern Oregon this flu season. The Wall Street Journal covered this issue and we will give you the highlights to help you decide if the flu shot is a good idea for your health.
-How bad might this season be? Doctors are expecting more influenza cases than in the past two years.
–Why? The precautions utilized for COVID-19 have mostly been dropped and we are doing more in-person socializing. We also have lower levels of natural immunity as a result of the isolation measures, so your immune system might not be as prepared to defend against a flu bug.
–When is flu season? Typically, it starts in October and finishes in May, but this can vary.
-What precautions should I take? Get vaccinated, wash hands frequently, cover your coughs/sneezes, and stay home if you don’t feel well.
–Can I get the flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 booster? Yes, as long as you are eligible to get a booster at that time.
-How much does the flu shot cost? While they are typically fully covered by insurance, out-of-pocket cost ranges from $20 to $75.
-Are there new strains this year? Australia saw the strain named H3N2, which is a subvariant of Influenza A.
–What are flu symptoms to watch for? Fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, headache, body aches, GI distress, and/or shortness of breath. The symptoms of COVID and the seasonal flu look similar, so it is important to get tested for both viruses if you feel sick.
Read more from the WSJ article here:
When to Get Your Flu Shot and Other Advice for This Flu Season – WSJ