WYNNEWOOD, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — As temperatures drop, health officials are warning of a worse flu season than in previous years.

“Every year, scientists look at species that move in the Southern Hemisphere and try to predict what species will live in the Northern Hemisphere,” said Dr. Lawrence Livornez, chair of medicine at Maine Line Health. “Sometimes you get it right, other times not so much.”

In the southern hemisphere, Australia is facing its worst flu season in at least five years, which could be a foreshadowing of what’s to come in the US. Flu season has almost disappeared in the past two years due to Covid lockdowns, masks and social distancing. But now things are back to normal.

“I don’t know how long I haven’t gotten a flu shot, so I’d say no, but just say, if things start to come up, I might,” said Monette Gregory of North Philadelphia.

Doctors are encouraging the flu vaccine to reduce your risk of serious illness and are urging everyone to get the Covid-19 booster shot, which targets the omicron variant.

“This year we will see a milder COVID season than last year, but new mutations can come and things can change in ways we don’t expect right now,” Livornez said.

At this time, approximately 68 million Americans are not fully vaccinated against the Corona virus. Across the country, 30,000 patients have been hospitalized due to Covid, with 3,200 people in the ICU. Health officials are warning that there could be an increase in cases as winter approaches and we move inland.

“I try to keep as much distance between me and strangers as possible,” said West Philadelphia resident Ty Nesmith. “I’ll try to keep the mask and extra in my bag.”

Doctors strongly recommend that you wait until the end of October to get your flu shot. They say you can take both the flu shot and the covid booster at the same time.

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