5 things everyone should know about this year’s flu season

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You’ve probably heard the predictions that we could be in for a tough flu season this year. The virus arrived early in the Southern Hemisphere and was more severe, suggesting what may happen in the United States. But experts say there are things you can do to keep your family as healthy as possible. First: Always double check. “A single negative rapid flu test does not rule out the flu,” said Dr. Todd Ellerin, director of infectious diseases at South Shore Health in Massachusetts. As with COVID-19, Ellerin said two rapid tests are needed if you want to feel more confident that you don’t have the virus. Second, the flu vaccine protects against serious illness. Ellerin said that just like with COVID-19, the flu vaccination does work better to prevent extreme symptoms or hospitalization. Third: masks work against the flu. “Does that mean we all have to disguise ourselves all the time? No. No one has the appetite for that,” said Elleryn. “But you really want to assess what your individual risk is.” Fourth, the risk factors are the same as for COVID-19. “If you’ve been recommended to get one of the vaccines, you want to make sure you get the other one. , especially if you’re at higher risk,” Ellerin said. “Let’s face it, we expect to see more flu this season, we know we’re going to see more COVID, and there will be people with both at the same time.” Finally, the fifth: If you’re high- Take a risk, take Tamiflu. “There’s an antiviral drug that helps reduce symptoms and can keep you out of the hospital,” Ellerin said. Bottom line: What we’ve learned over the past two years will be useful in in the coming months, including getting a flu shot. “We don’t need to get carried away. No one is saying we have to mask up all the time in all situations,” Ellerin said. “But there are simple steps we can take to mitigate severe disease.”

You’ve probably heard the predictions that we could be in for a tough flu season this year. The virus arrived early in the Southern Hemisphere and was more severe, suggesting what may happen in the United States.

But experts say there are things you can do to keep your family as healthy as possible.

First: Always double check.

“A single negative rapid flu test does not rule out the flu,” said Dr. Todd Ellerin, director of infectious diseases at South Shore Health in Massachusetts.

As with COVID-19, Ellerin said two rapid tests are needed if you want to feel more confident that you don’t have the virus.

Second: the flu vaccine protects against serious diseases.

Ellerin said that just like with COVID-19, the flu shot really works better to keep you from experiencing extreme symptoms and ending up in the hospital.

Third: masks work against the flu.

“Does that mean we all have to disguise ourselves all the time? No. No one has the appetite for that,” said Elleryn. “But you really want to assess what your individual risk is.”

Fourth, the risk factors are the same as for COVID-19.

“If you’ve been recommended to get one of the vaccines, you want to make sure you get the other one, especially if you’re at higher risk,” Ellerin said. “Let’s face it, we expect to see more flu this season, we know we’re going to see more COVID, and there will be people with both at the same time.”

Finally, the fifth: if you are in a high-risk group, take Tamiflu.

“There is an antiviral that helps reduce symptoms and can keep you out of the hospital,” Ellerin said.

Result:

What we’ve learned over the past two years will come in handy in the coming months, including the flu shot.

“We don’t need to get excited. No one says we have to wear a mask all the time in all situations,” said Ellerin. “But there are simple steps we can take to mitigate this serious illness.”

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