What To Expect This Winter With The Flu

What to Expect This Winter With the Flu 

These days, every little sniffle and cold your children get can be cause for concern. Not only do you have to wonder about the COVID-19 virus, but with the flu season in full swing, now you also have to worry that those cold symptoms could be a sign of influenza. What should you expect from the 2021-2022 flu season, and how can you prepare for what’s to come? Here are a few things to bear in mind. 

This Year’s Flu Season Will Not Be the Same as Last Year’s 

Last year, the rate of hospitalization for the flu was lower than it has ever been since the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) started collecting data on flu hospitalizations in 2005. The primary reason for this decrease can be attributed to the steps the public took to lessen the spread of COVID-19. With most businesses requiring customers to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines, and with more and more people staying home when they felt unwell, the flu was almost a non-entity last year. Unfortunately, the same may not be true this flu season.

Experts are concerned that this flu season may not be quite as quiet and uncomplicated as last year with cases, hospitalizations, and deaths increasing to where they were before 2020. These specialists are also warning of a “twindemic”—a surge in cases of COVID-19 and the flu simultaneously. With less people wearing face masks and social distancing while in public, the rate of virus transmission may be at a much higher level than last year. What’s more, with the extremely low rate of influenza last year, exposure to the virus—which can help build protective immunity—was nearly non-existent. Protective immunity is key in helping fight off future infections. 

The Flu Vaccine Will Be More Important Than Ever for Children 

Receiving an annual flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your family, and those around you from the flu. And while the vaccine will not provide 100% immunity from the virus, it can reduce the severity of illness and the risk of being hospitalized with complications. The flu vaccine is especially beneficial for children, as a recent study found that it significantly reduced pediatric mortality rates.  

This year, there are nine different FDA-approved flu vaccines, all of which are quadrivalent. This means that they protect against four different strains of influenza—two type-A and two type-B flu viruses. The flu vaccine can be given as an intramuscular injection (approved for children starting at six months) or as a nasal spray (approved for children starting at age two). 

Maintaining Good Health Habits Can Help Prevent the Flu  

By this point in time, you’re likely well aware of how to help prevent getting and spreading a virus and have passed along those guidelines to your children. As a refresher, here are some of the habits your children can engage in to help prevent the flu: 

  • Washing their hands frequently 
  • Avoiding touching their face 
  • Maintaining a distance of six feet or more from other people in public 
  • Staying home from school and extracurricular activities when they feel unwell  

Opt for At-Home Flu Care When Your Children Have Symptoms 

If your child is experiencing symptoms of the flu, one of the best things you can do for them and for others around you is to keep them home as they recover. So if you need to seek medical attention, why not consider an at-home service? Home healthcare is a growing field that allows your children to receive the medical care they need without changing out of their pajamas. From administering flu tests to providing acute medical attention to help your child feel better, at-home medical care is the way to go.  

Turn to DispatchHealth 

DispatchHealth offers same-day, at-home medical care to children starting at three months. All you have to do is request a visit with us, and one of our experienced medical teams will arrive in a few hours. Our providers specialize in pediatric patients and will deliver the friendly, compassionate care your child needs. They come equipped with a wide range of medical supplies, including testing and treatment kits, to provide the well-rounded flu treatment you’re looking for.

If your child is feeling under the weather with flu-like symptoms, count on DispatchHealth. You can request a visit by using our app or website or calling us on the phone.  

For life-threatening and time-sensitive injuries and illnesses, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. DispatchHealth shouldn’t be used in a life-threatening emergency and doesn’t replace a primary care provider. 

Sources  

DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies.  

Sources referenced in this article:  

  1. https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/twindemic-warning-covid-19-and-flu-season-will-collide-this-winter/2021/10       
  1. https://www.prevention.com/health/health-conditions/a37417888/covid-19-cold-flu/       
  1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccine-benefits.htm 
  1. https://www.goodrx.com/conditions/flu-vaccination/how-effective-is-the-flu-shot-this-year