The weather is cooling. Kids are going back to school. Leaves are changing. And flu season is coming. But, what does flu season mean during COVID-19?
The CDC published an article on September 18, 2020 stating that currently flu activity is low in the US (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6937a6.htm?s_cid=mm6937a6_w) However, we know it’s not going to stay that way. In 2019, flu activity rapidly increased beginning in November. That followed typical historical patterns of flu symptoms across the US. There really isn’t a way to predict what will happen this year and whether or not social distancing and mask wearing will decrease flu activity at all. What we can predict is that having flu like symptoms can be super stressful in the time of coronavirus. You could be left wondering, “is it covid, or is it the flu?” Especially since symptoms are so similar.
Here’s what you can do to reduce your risk of flu and Covid.
- Get a flu shot early. Most states are offering flu shots through doctor’s offices and even pharmacies. Go get one as soon as you can. In a group of 1,200 patients who tested positive for Coronavirus in April, 1 in 5 of them were co-infected with a flu or other virus. To prevent that from happening to you – get the flu shot. (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coronavirus-and-the-flu-a-looming-double-threat/)
- Wash your hands often. Same goes for Coronavirus. Frequent hand washing is crucial toward slowing the spread of both types of viruses.
- Use hand sanitizer. But make sure it is the right formula with at least 60% alcohol. Like our formula, which can be found here: https://www.safeathomeppe.com/collections/sanitizers/products/gel-hand-sanitizer-2-oz-60-ml-1
- Wear a mask! Even with changing CDC guidelines, one thing has been consistent – wearing a mask. Surgical masks are best (gaiters and shields are less effective in recent tests). Find ours here and get a discount while you’re at it: https://www.safeathomeppe.com/collections/safety-masks/products/3-layer-surgical-mask
- Avoid gathering indoors with others who may be infected. Stay six feet apart whenever possible and wear your mask indoors when with others.
If you come down with flu like symptoms, there is a ton of information out there to help you mitigate flu symptoms. None of them are as good as a parent or a partner to bring you soup, acetaminophen and hot drinks. But, there is a ton of guidance out there about treating flu symptoms (like here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351725)
Stay safe this flu season. We can help with our products. But, you can help the most by following the guidelines above.