Flu

Flu

There has been a steady increase in the number of flu cases reported recently. This is unusual because the flu season usually runs from March to September.In 2019 there were only 8 reported cases of flu between October and December, while in 2021 there were 277 cases reported during the same period.2

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Why are we seeing flu now?

The use of masks, social distancing and restriction of movement meant that there were fewer cases of flu in 2020 and 2021.1,3
As non-pharmaceutical interventions like using masks and social distancing have been relaxed, flu cases are starting to increase. 1,3

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Can I be infected with flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

  • Yes. It is possible to have flu and other respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 at the same time. When someone is infected with an influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, this is called a co-infection4
  • We are likely to have flu and COVID-19 virus’s circulating at the same time which will increase the chance of co-infection.4,5
  • Prevent healthcare visits and severe COVID-19 and influenza by being vaccinated against both diseases.5,6
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Are you at high risk for complications from flu?

  • Individuals younger than 2 years
  • Individuals older than 65 years
  • Pregnant woman including the post-partum period
  • Individuals who are morbidly obese
  • Individuals infected with Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (TB) or Human
    Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Individuals with chronic diseases like Diabetes or Asthma

More information on HIGH RISK INDIVIDUALS 

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HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM FLU?

To prevent contracting or spreading flu:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Wear your mask
  • Clean your hands regularly
  • Avoid touching your face and clean and disinfect common areas

More information on FLU IN YOUNG CHILDREN

Ask your Healthcare Provider about the flu vaccines available this season.

Medical References

1. https://www.nicd.ac.za/alert-increase-in-influenza-cases-in-south-africa/ 2. WHO Flunet. 3. Sanz-Muoz, I et al. Social Distancing, Lockdown and the Wide Use of Mask; A Magic Solution or a Double-Edged Sword for Respiratory Viruses Epidemiology? Vaccines 2021:9;595 4. Frequently Asked Influenza
(Flu) Questions: 2021-2022 Season/5.Blumberg L, Cohen C, Dawood H, et al. Influenza NICD Recommendations for the diagnosis, prevention, management and public health response. Available at: https:// www.nicd.ac.za/ wp-content/ uploads/2020/04/INFLUENZA-GUIDELINES-2020.pdf. 6. WHO. Co-administration of seasonal inactivated influenza and COVID-19 vaccines. Interim Guidance June 2021. 7.https://www.news24.com/health24/medical/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/flurona-coinfection-with-covid-19-and-flu-on-the-rise-should-yoube-worried-20220110-2
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