Influenza Season is Upon Us

The time between October and March is known as flu season because the viruses that cause influenza (and other types of flu) are more prevalent and more easily spread during the fall and winter months. Influenza virus activity starts increasing in October and spikes between December and February. That means it’s time to start considering how you’ll protect yourself—and the people around you—this flu season. As with other viruses, you can reduce the chance of getting sick by regularly washing your hands and limiting contact with sick people. But influenza is different from other viruses because it can be potentially life-threatening. During the 2021-2022 flu season, influenza contributed to well over 100,000 hospitalizations in the US. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strongly recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the best way [...]

Flu Vaccines in the Time of Corona

Influenza or “flu” is caused by a contagious virus that infects your lungs and respiratory system. There are different strains of the influenza virus that are passed around the world. Symptoms of the flu may be mild or severe, and include fever, dry cough, sore throat, muscle aches and generally feeling tired and sick. Will the virus be worse this year since we are not wearing masks? Influenza viruses are spread by droplets that enter the respiratory system through our nose and mouth. Washing your hands is the best defense, but masks also reduce the likelihood of many types of respiratory (lung) infections. As the seasons change and we move indoors, viruses become more robust (cold, drier weather keeps them infectious longer) and that is why more people get sick during the winter months. If I get the flu vaccine, [...]