The pandemic could have led to a difficult 2021-2022 flu season if it weren’t for the COVID-19 protocols already in place. The upcoming flu season won’t include mask mandates and social distancing despite COVID-19’s high numbers, causing experts to worry about the flu’s rapid spread.
If there was ever a time to concentrate on reducing the spread of the flu, it’s now. Employers must read up on the proper use of disinfectants, make wearing masks more normalized and encourage sick workers to stay home. Otherwise, they’ll be understaffed for the entire season.
The Severe 2022-2023 Flu Season
In the U.S., health officials are already worried that this year’s flu season will be more severe than the last. A CNN article about flu season concerns interviewed members of local school districts. At the beginning of October, nearly 4000 students called in sick due to the flu.
That same article suggests that the rapid spread is due to the lack of COVID-19 restrictions and the data backs this up. From September 2020 to January 2021, only 1,316 positive flu cases were reported to the CDC. During the same period last year, almost 130,000 cases were reported.
It’s difficult to predict how many people will be infected with the flu this year, but it’s unusual to see a spike in cases in October. Typically, the flu season picks up in November or December.
At the same time, isolation comes with its caveats. Most people haven’t been exposed to the flu in a few years, meaning our immunity is lower. For this reason, you should consider getting a flu shot, especially if you have small children, are immunocompromised or are over the age of 60.