‘Tis the Season of Sneezin’

Flu Season on the Rise

A pie chart of the average age of mortality.

Photo by Brooklyn Powers

A pie chart of the average age of mortality.

As we add more layers of clothing, we should do the same with precautions. This time of year can be anxiety-ridden when trying to stay healthy over the holidays. Typically, the flu season lasts from October to May, being most active from December to March, according to goodrx.com.

This Season
In 2022, the average number of people to get the flu is 36 million, according to cdc.gov. The flu is mainly spread by large influenza particles that can come out of coughing, sneezing or other ways of sharing bodily fluids. During COVID-19, the flu was almost nonexistent. This could be caused by the precautions that were made when COVID-19 was present. During the pandemic, many wore masks to slow the spread. Additionally, hand sanitizer or disinfectants were used to wipe down surfaces that may have had an occupant that was carrying the virus, killing 99% of those germs. These same ways of stopping COVID-19 can be used with the flu as well, all according to prevention.com.

Normally, the flu season is relatively consistent with previous years, according to goodrx.com. However, experts predict that the season of 2022-2023 will be intense and more brutal than before COVID-19. This is because Australia has its flu season before other nations, which can typically tell people how their flu season will be, according to prevention.com. Australia currently has 224,000 confirmed flu cases with 305 related deaths, according to immunisationcoalition.org.au.

Some good habits to practice are staying away from others who may have the flu, avoiding touching the face and washing hands. If the flu is caught, it is best to stay away from public places, cover the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing as well as clean surfaces regularly, all according to lung.org.

The Shot
The flu shot can protect people from about 40-60% of the virus strains, according to goodrx.com.

“If you do get sick and are vaccinated, the flu vaccine can reduce the severity of the illness,” school nurse Cristina Armour said. “Getting the flu vaccine can also protect the people around you. Flu vaccines have a good safety record.”

35.7% of adults and 57.8% of children ages six months to 18 months received a flu vaccine in the year 2020, according to cdc.gov. In total, 58.1% of all children in the years 2021-2022 received the vaccine, according to kff.org.

“People with the flu can have some or all of these symptoms: fever, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea,” Armour said.

When having the flu, one is likely to experience some or all of the symptoms listed above, according to cdc.gov.