Colorado doctors predicting early flu season, severity of illness could also be stronger
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Local doctors are predicting an early flu season.
11 News spoke with doctors at UCHealth, who reports that flu season in the the United States typically begins around Thanksgiving, and peaks in December or January. But this year, it’s predicted that the flu could begin in late October or early November.
“It’s going to be different than the last two years in that, the last two years, we really haven’t seen a lot of flu. This year, I think we will see a regular flu season, which may be a little shock to people, because like I said, we’ve been covid, covid, covid for the last two years,” said Dr. Michelle Baron - UCHealth’s senior medical director for infection prevention and control.
Predictions for the upcoming flu season are based on trends from the southern hemisphere. In Australia, flu season typically occurs in May through September. But this year, it reportedly began about a month earlier. The severity of illness could also be stronger due to lower flu numbers seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In March of 2020, we shut everything down. Schools closed, everyone was mandated to be masked. What happened this year that was different, well March to April, everything reopened to the full extent. There was not limit on gatherings, everybody was no longer required to wear a mask, travel was starting to peak again, so everyone was living their life, which is not a bad thing, but it’s a great way to spread germs,” said Barron.
UCHealth doctors recommend getting your flu shot as soon as you can, but by November. You can get your flu shot at the same time as your COVID-19 shot.
“The flu shot, just like covid, keeps you out of the hospital so it doesn’t always 100% keep you from getting the infection itself, but it keeps you out of the hospital and keeps you from getting really sick. I think that’s actually very valuable because being sick is just not fun!” said Barron.
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