ATLANTA — Doctors say now may be a good time to think about scheduling a flu shot.
Health experts are seeing mixed signals about what to expect from the flu this year.
Influenza hit Australia earlier and harder than it has in five years, which could be a sign of a tough fight in the U.S.
Channel 2′s Linda Stouffer spoke with flu experts, who explained why this flu season is so hard to predict.
“I think most epidemiologists think that there’s going to be an uptick in flu activity over the next few months,” Dr. Feliper Lobelo with Kaiser Permanente said. "
Lobelo said the last few years had had very low flu levels, so with no exposure, there is less immunity to flu.
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However, COVID-19 may over-power the spread of the flu virus.
“We have this very strong virus, COVID, that is still circulating, and that may be sort of also helping suppress the flu activity,” Lobelo said.
“It takes several weeks for you to get that immune response from the shots, so you don’t want to wait until you hear in the news that flu is that to get the flu shot. Ideally, you want to get it ahead of time.”
The White House and the CDC are urging people to get the flu shot at the same time.
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”Respiratory viruses, be they COVID or influenza, tend to thrive in winter, gather inside, closer together, the air is dry that’s when respiratory viruses tend to have the biggest impact,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “We are really encouraging everyone to roll up their sleeves and get the updates bivalent vaccine.”
Doctors recommend that you get the flu shot by the end of October.
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