November 29, 2021 | The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a Health Advisory about increasing cases of flu.
According to the advisory, "Recent increases in influenza activity in many places in the United States could mark the beginning of the 2021-2022 influenza season in the United States. While influenza activity is still low overall nationally, an increase of influenza A(H3N2) viruses has been detected in recent weeks, with most of these infections occurring in young adults. CDC also is aware of influenza outbreaks in colleges and universities in several states. Influenza vaccination coverage is still low and there is still time this season to benefit from getting an annual influenza vaccine."
CDC Recommendations Include:
- Get a flu vaccine as soon as possible. There’s still time to protect yourself from flu this season. You can get a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. Vaccines are the best tool for preventing influenza and can reduce the risk of severe illness and death associated with influenza.
- Take everyday preventive actions that can help reduce the spread of germs, like flu. These everyday preventive actions include staying home when sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing your hands often. While CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask to protect you from getting flu, wearing a face mask is recommended to protect you and others against COVID-19 at this time.
- If you develop flu symptoms (which can be similar to symptoms of other respiratory viruses), reach out to your healthcare provider who may test you to determine if your sickness is due to flu or another virus that has similar symptoms, such as COVID-19.
- Take antiviral drugs if prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- It’s important to remember that there also are drugs that can be used to treat flu illness.
- Antiviral drugs are not meant to replace flu vaccine. A flu vaccine is the best way to help prevent seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications. Antiviral drugs are a second line of defense that can be used to treat flu if you do get sick.
- Flu antiviral drugs work best when started within two days of a person getting sick.
- CDC recommends that people who are very sick or who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications get antiviral treatment as early as possible without waiting for test results.
- Many patients might not be aware that drugs to treat influenza illness are available.