With the sudden emergence of the COVID-19 virus this year, there’s a bit more strain on flu season as well. And while the United States is looking to get back on track on its COVID response, it also needs to stay prepared for the regular flu season. Here is everything you need to know about The United States’ preparation for this year’s flu season.
COVID-19 and the Flu
COVID-19 is not the same illness as the flu that shows up in the autumn. It is quite similar, though, since both diseases affect the respiratory system, and they both are caused by viruses – covid by a novel coronavirus and the flu by the influenza virus. There are no cures for either viral infections. Instead, managing symptoms and treating pain is mostly what goes into dealing with the flu. In serious COVID-19 cases, breathing can become complicated, and it might be necessary to use a ventilator.
A flu vaccine is made from parts of several different influenza viruses that are deactivated. When injected into the body, the immune system learns how to create antibodies that fight the virus. Later on in the season, if you come into contact with a person who is sick with the virus, the body will quickly send antibodies to destroy the viral invaders.
There are lots of different flu viruses, and they evolve relatively quickly. Hence, each flu vaccine must be updated for the new season. This will ensure that vaccines include the most up to date versions of the flu viruses going around this year.
When you go in for your flu vaccine, be sure to tell your provider if you have any allergies, especially to eggs. Many of the vaccines use egg proteins, so if you have an allergy to this, your doctor will substitute an egg-free vaccine.
This year scientists have developed two new vaccines appropriate for use in adults 65 years and older.
Monitoring Flu Season
One of the best ways that the United States stays prepared for flu season is making sure that they are correctly monitoring cases and surveilling treatment. So far, over 172 million doses of the flu vaccine have been distributed this season. While there has been an increase in influenza type illnesses this year, it is most likely related to the presence of COVID-19 and possible misdiagnosed cases.
If you’d like to ensure that you and your family stay safe and healthy this flu season, stop into your nearby urgent care center today for a flu shot. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask your provider For more information about the flu, COVID-19, or vaccinations.