A rise in flu cases has the potential to happen this fall if individuals remain unvaccinated, even though fewer flu cases were reported during the last year due to Covid-19. In a study published in the scientific journal PLoS One on August 3rd, 2021, completed by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, researchers found that the flu vaccine may play a role in protecting individuals from Covid-19. This study assessed patients in the U.K., the U.S., Italy, Germany, Singapore and Israel.
Flu Statistics and Projections for 2021-2022
The study found that receiving the annual flu shot may help reduce the risk of sepsis, stroke and deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) in Covid-19 patients. It was determined that individuals who did not receive the flu shot were 20% more likely to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Additionally, individuals who did not receive the flu shot were considered 45% more likely to develop sepsis, 58% more likely to have a stroke and 40% more likely to develop DVT.
While the flu is typically responsible for a higher death rate, during 2020, Covid-19 surpassed it by far. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that between October 2020 and July 2021, 2,136 out of 1.3 million people tested This number is in stark contrast to pre-Covid-19 flu numbers, which estimated at least 38 million people sick and 22,000 dead from flu in the United States.
The CDC recommends that to best stay safe during this flu season, that individuals get the flu vaccine. Flu vaccines for 2021 are designed to protect against the four most common viruses. The Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee makes recommendations for the flu vaccine composition based on updated information every year. The CDC also recommends that you continue to take precautionary health measures, which can include masks and hand sanitizers. C & A is committed to helping individuals follow CDC recommendations and stay safe this holiday season.
Heightened Flu Season Risks
Over the summer, respiratory virus cases in the U.S. increased, which means that during the upcoming winter months we may see an uptick in the flu as well. These flu cases may go undetected because it is likely that flu testing and shot centers will not be as prevalent as Covid-19 centers. However, Covid-19 vaccines can be given in conjunction with flu shots. The CDC recommends that individuals get their flu shot in September or October. However, in countries already experiencing winter, like Australia, flu cases seem to be relatively low.
As lockdown rules continue to roll back, the risk for flu is expected to increase. Doctors have tentatively shared the word “twindemic” for context as to what could occur. As of September 17th, 2021, the U.S. grapples with 160,000 new Covid-19 cases per day. While flu cases may stay small due to increased Covid-19 precautions, the recent increase in Covid-19 cases means hospitals are not prepared for even a marginal rise in flu cases. The relative lack of cases over the past 18 months also means that the population-level flu immunity could be lower this season.
C & A’s Commitment
C & A continues to carry personal protective equipment, like masks and hand sanitizers and laboratory equipment to suit your precautionary and research needs amid a rise in flu and Covid-19 cases. We recommend that you follow CDC guidelines and stay safe during the upcoming winter season.
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