Flu cases are beginning to rise throughout components of the U.S. And that is regarding as a result of fewer folks are vaccinated for flu, in comparison with final yr, in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

With the COVID-19 omicron variant additionally spreading, Dr. Stephen McMullan, a Mayo Clinic household drugs doctor, explains what a coinfection of the flu and COVID-19 dubbed “flurona” means.

Watch: Dr. Stephen McMullan explains what a flu-COVID-19 coinfection is and why flu cases are rising.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video is within the downloads on the finish of this put up. Please courtesy: “Mayo Clinic News Network.”

“Coinfection is rare with COVID-19 and the flu, or COVID-19 and other types of infections that you might get as far as upper respiratory infections because COVID-19 tends to take over,” says Dr. McMullan. “Once COVID-19 is in your body, it’s going to be the predominant virus, but there are some rare cases where we have seen people getting both COVID-19 and the flu. So it is possible, but it’s certainly not common.”

Historic exercise for areas with rising cases ― the japanese and central components of the U.S. as of the primary week of 2022 ― present flu sometimes peaks in late January and February. As to why flu is surging earlier, Dr. McMullan explains that a number of elements may very well be the trigger.

“We’re all a little bit more back together than we were a year ago,” says Dr. McMullan. “The kids are back in school, and we have more events that people are attending, which could explain why we’re seeing flu cases rise.”

The CDC lists the dominant pressure of flu this season as H3N2, which the present vaccine is formulated to guard towards. However, almost 20 million fewer doses have been given by the start of 2022, in comparison with one yr earlier.

When it involves recognizing signs, Dr. McMullan says COVID-19 and flu are related. He recommends testing to find out the precise sickness and acceptable plan of action.

“Nasal congestion; coughing; maybe a sore throat; and difficulty breathing or catching your breath, especially with exertion, can be symptoms of the flu,” says Dr. McMullan. “More commonly, what we see are fevers and body aches, specifically muscle aches may be more indicative of the flu itself, rather than other upper respiratory viruses or even COVID-19.”

If you do contract the flu, Dr. McMullan recommends isolating from these in your family to stop additional unfold, and he says that most individuals will be capable to self-treat with symptomatic medicines reminiscent of anti-inflammatory, cough suppressant and fever-reducing medicines. For questions or if a case turns into extreme, contact your health care supplier.

Dr. McMullan says it is attainable to remain secure from COVID-19 and flu.

“Get vaccinated against COVID-19, including your booster if eligible, and make sure to get your flu vaccine,” says Dr. McMullan. “Continue to do the same strategies to protect yourself and others, such as wearing a mask in high-risk situations, washing your hands and staying home if you feel ill.”

Those who are eligible can get vaccinated for flu and COVID-19 on the identical time. It’s additionally attainable to get vaccinated for flu and obtain a COVID-19 booster vaccination on the identical time.

For the protection of its sufferers, employees and guests, Mayo Clinic has strict masking insurance policies in place. Anyone proven with out a masks was recorded previous to COVID-19 or recorded in an space not designated for affected person care, the place social distancing and different security protocols had been adopted.

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