• This year’s US flu season could be bad, depending on what happens in Australia.
  • It’s a good idea to get a flu shot in October or November.
  • Regular masking can make a big difference during cold and flu season.

As America’s flu season approaches, potential complaints.”twin“Beer brewing is starting to make a comeback.

“This could be the year,” said Vanderbilt infectious disease expert Dr. William Schaffner. NPR’s first on Friday“We have a significant increase in covid, and at the same time we have an increase in influenza.”

One big reason infectious disease experts are worried this year is because Australia’s 2022 flu season was so bad, and what happens in the southern hemisphere’s winter flu season, often mirrors the US flu season very well.

Year-on-year chart of Australia's flu cases in 2022 looks grim

Australian Department of Health

Leading virologist Florian Kramer says it’s too early to say whether this season will be a doozy.

“Of course, the flu can come back stronger than usual, because there’s a lot of nail substrate around,” he told Insider. He may not have caught the flu in recent yearsOr never, in the case of young children.

Here are two simple parameters that Kramer uses to prepare.

Don’t get the flu shot too soon, but get it by the end of November.

Kramer, who lives in New York, where flu activity is currently low, said he plans to wait until late November to get vaccinated this year.

“I always do that, and I’m not going away from that this year.”

Other experts agree. The best time to get the flu shot is in October or November.Good protection typically lasts four to six months, so flu season can stretch into the spring. Last year, “the season dragged on for a long time,” Cramer said, and he wanted to up the ante.

Even in June, many suspected cases of the flu were still being reported in the states of Colorado, Florida, and Washington, D.C.:

A map of the US shows flu activity in the spring - the worst areas are scattered

The CDC’s view of the flu

But, if you live around the country. Where the flu is already on the riseLike Texas or DC, it might be wise to get a flu shot sooner rather than later.

The US map now shows flu activity - in Texas, DC

The CDC’s view of the flu

The good news is this year’s flu vaccine. It should match well with what is being moved. There: Many influenza A.

It will be vaccination It is especially important for young children Children under the age of 3 may not have had any exposure to the flu virus in their lifetime.

A sophisticated mask can make the cold disappear

Fortunately, compared to Covid, the flu is “relatively easy to stop,” Cramer said, by staying home when we’re sick and wearing a mask in places where other people might get sick.

“That’s why I think it’s a good idea for people in healthcare facilities to wear masks during the winter or the cold, right?” He added. After all, during the 2020-2021 flu season, when most people were still wearing masks to protect against Covid, The flu is completely gone.

“You get away with a lot,” Cramer said. “Actually, I personally will wear a mask on the subway and airplanes from now on in the cold season.”

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