ROANOKE, Va. – December through February, flu season might be more intense.
One infectious disease expert from Carilion said trends worldwide indicate that Americans could see a brutal flu season and that Americans, especially those over the age of 65, should take proper steps to be prepared.
Dr. Baffoe-Bonnie with Carilion said the high flu rates in Australia this year have exceeded the five-year average. He also said places like Texas and Washington D.C. are already seeing an uptick in flu cases.
According to Dr. Baffoe-Bonnie, there could be three reasons for the increase: decreased immunity, vaccination rates, and people not wearing masks.
At one point during the pandemic, doctors said fewer people were getting the flu because they were wearing masks. But now that people are becoming more relaxed, Dr. Baffoe-Bonnie said we can expect to see flu rates go up.
Dr. Baffoe-Bonnie stressed the importance of wearing a mask and encouraged vaccinations, especially if a person is 65 or older.
“When you vaccinate, you protect your loved ones because you form a cocoon around them, and that is key for any community,” Dr. Baffoe-Bonnie said.
The doctor also encouraged parents to get take their children, six months or older, to get the flu shot.