Medical experts say the flu season is around the corner

Doctors say it's time to get your flu shot. Flu season is hitting hard.
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Flu season is approaching, and doctors are suggesting people grab their shots now.

The southern hemisphere had a rough flu season. SSM Health Executive David Ottenbaker says the impact should be the same here.

“We are anticipating a more aggressive season this year than certainly the last couple years that where we talked about, we had less, less infections,” Ottenbaker said.

Hy-Vee Chief Medical Officer Daniel Fick says the average amount of people getting their flu shot compares to last year.

“There was higher numbers when COVID-19 was new in in 2020. It went down a little bit in 2021, but it’s about the same,” Fick said.

Respiratory viruses are prominent in October to the first of the year.

“Influenza tends to hit after the holidays, January and February, but you want to get your booster now because you want to give your immune system a chance to get ready for it,” Fick said.

Experts say this flu season looks different.

“We’ve not seen a bad flu influenza season for about five years. We expect actually this year to be more significant, you know, we’re not doing the things that tend to keep the virus at bay — social distancing, masking,” Fick said.

Ottenbaker says during the pandemic there were less people with influenza and he is not sure why.

“The other thought was that with the other virus, COVID being predominant, was that just shutting out the flu infection from being the more prominent illness that we typically see in the winter months,” Ottenbaker said.

Ottenbaker says influenza affects the same COVID-19 demographics

“You know people do die from flu, and influenza vaccines are safe,” Ottenbaker said.

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