Thursday, July 18, 2024

How do you prepare for the flu season?

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Maria Gill
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Dr. Kwong said people from higher risks For flu complications, including women who are pregnant, age 65 or older, or have asthma, heart disease, or diabetes, they may want to get a flu shot as soon as possible. People who live in areas of the United States that already have moderate or high flu activity, such as Texas, New Mexico, Delaware, and Georgia, should also be vaccinated as soon as possible. (To see flu activity like where you live, scroll to the map on This is the web page.)

If you’re not at high risk of complications and flu activity is low where you live, and if you’re the kind of person who likes better flu protection, waiting another month or two might be a smart choice, experts said. speak with. . Dr. Nozo said she usually gets her flu shot in October, while Dr. Kwong said he often waits until November.

The wait might make sense because people are more likely to catch the flu virus in the winter rather than early fall — and the protection offered by the flu vaccine wanes over time, said Emily Martin, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Michigan Medical School. . Public Health.

Dr. Martin and colleagues published Study in 2021 who found that the ability of the influenza vaccine to prevent hospitalization from influenza decreased by 8-9% each month after vaccination for four influenza seasons. A 2019 study She reported that the chances of contracting influenza increased by 16% every 28 days after vaccination. This is important considering that last flu season was still circulating Walkingand the April same June In parts of the United States, possibly due to increased travel and the easing of Covid restrictions. Dr. Kwong said that if you get a flu shot in August or September, you may not be protected from flu in the spring and early summer.

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Dr. Martin said the vaccine may partially protect you after seven or eight months. So don’t worry if you’ve already had your vaccine. She added that getting the flu shot early is better than not getting it at all.

Even if the flu hasn’t spread where you live yet, experts recommend wearing a mask in crowded indoor spaces. « La dissimulation aide à limiter la propagation de nombreux virus respiratoires, pas seulement la grippe », a expliqué le Dr Martin, et au début de l’automne, il pourrait y avoir 20 virus ou plus en circulation en raison de la propagation de la School entry. Dr. Kwong recommended wearing high-quality, well-fitting masks, such as N95, KN95 or KF94. If that’s not possible, surgical masks are more protective than cloth masks, but cloth is better than nothing at all, he said.

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