From a public health standpoint, we haven’t been able to talk about anything but Covid-19 for the last two and a half years. However, other diseases can still wreak havoc on our lives, especially as we enter the winter months.
The flu has been relatively quiet the last couple seasons, most likely as a result of the extra precautions we have taken as a society (i.e. masking, social distancing, more handwashing awareness, etc.). However, with a return to something resembling normalcy this year, also comes a return of the flu.
We have already seen a surge of flu cases in the Southern hemisphere this year, especially Australia. This can be a predictor that we will see a similar surge in the US.
Now is the best time to get your flu shot. Although peak flu rates are between December-March, the full season is October-May. Planning ahead can prevent that “uh-oh” moment when you start feeling crummy in the coming months, and suddenly you or your student are out for days.
Flu shots can be easily received for free and without insurance from Ingles. They’re also offered at Publix, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and any doctor’s office.
Add it to your grocery list for this week!
Vaccinations aside, the basics can also be applied to flu prevention. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, keep your distance from those that are feeling ill, and stay home if you yourself are feeling ill.
Personally, one positive I’ve taken away from the Covid-19 pandemic is the emphasis on how our own personal health decisions affect those around us. Especially the more vulnerable parts of our community. This has always been true about the flu, as well.
Here are a couple links to resources about flu, prevention and the burden it can have on the population:
Let’s all do our best this winter to keep ourselves, our family, and our community healthy.”
Jessica Perraud, BSN RN
Franklin School of Innovation