Flu Season Returns: How to Stay Safe

While social distancing and wearing masks kept last year’s flu season at an all-time low, experts expect flu cases will soar this year as students return to school and employees go back to the office and are urging people to get their flu vaccine to prevent the nation’s health care system from being overwhelmed by influenza and COVID-19.
David Cennimo, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, discusses what you should do to protect yourself during the upcoming flu season.

Patients of women doctors more likely to be vaccinated against the flu

Elderly patients of female physicians are more likely than those of male physicians in the same outpatient practice to be vaccinated against the flu. This trend holds for all racial and ethnic groups studied and could provide insight into improving vaccination rates for influenza, COVID-19 and other illnesses

Pre-existing influenza immunity impacts antibody quality following seasonal infection and vaccination

New research by scientists at the University of Chicago suggests a person’s antibody response to influenza viruses is dramatically shaped by their pre-existing immunity, and that the quality of this response differs in individuals who are vaccinated or naturally infected. Their results highlight the importance of receiving the annual flu vaccine to induce the most protective immune response.

UNLV Physician: Why COVID-19 Makes Flu Shots More Important Than Ever

As the race for a COVID-19 vaccine intensifies, health care officials are reminding the public not to forget another important vaccine this fall: the flu shot. Flu season in the U.S. technically began in September, with illnesses expected to peak in December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Less than half of Americans received a flu vaccine during the 2019-2020 flu season, and a staggering 405,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths were attributed to influenza.

Antibodies protect against wide range of influenza B virus strains

Researchers have identified two antibodies that protect mice against lethal infections of influenza B virus, report scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Together with an antibody that targets the other major kind of influenza viruses that infect people — influenza A — these antibodies potentially could form the basis of a broad-spectrum flu drug that could treat almost all flu cases.

Flu Season Meets the COVID-19 Pandemic: Johns Hopkins Medicine Experts Available

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the world in sometimes devastating and unexpected ways, a more well-known illness — the flu — will make its annual debut in the coming weeks. Flu activity tends to increase in October and can run as late as May. It’s too soon to tell how flu season will definitively affect the current pandemic. However, Johns Hopkins Medicine experts say prevention will be key in reducing the spread of both illnesses, including getting an annual flu vaccine, washing hands, wearing a face mask or covering, and maintaining proper physical distancing.

Flu Season Returns: Protect Yourself Now

Cases of the flu are already on the rise around the nation as flu season begins. Johns Hopkins Medicine experts say now is the time to fight against the flu as the number of people getting sick from the potentially life-threatening virus will increase in the coming months. Doctors recommend everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine each year to prevent the virus or reduce the seriousness if you do get sick.