AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — It’s fall season, which isn’t a terrible time of year, there’s Halloween, and Thanksgiving.
But, it also ushers in the season for the flu.
So what can you do keep you and your family safe?
“Well, the best thing you can do to prepare your immune system is to be vaccinated for the things you can be vaccinated for,” said Rodney Young, M.D., Texas Tech Physicians Family Medicine Physician. “So we have the flu shots available right now widely.”
As for the 2022 flu season, many health experts expect it to be a bad one.
“A couple of years ago, when we were essentially locked down, the flu was more or less than no show we had very little flu activity. And last year, we still had quite a few protections that people were observing. So we didn’t see the big surge that we often see with flu. Because we didn’t see them for a couple of years, there’s a higher risk of person to person transmission,” Dr. Young explained.
Another pest that fall and winter tend to bring with them, the annoying common cold. Lest we forget, the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on.
According to Dr. Young, the best way to defend yourself, “bivalent boosters available that contain the currently circulating strain of, COVID in the in the form of Omicron that’s available now. And we have excellent data both in terms of safety and benefit of doing that in terms of protecting you against the likelihood of either acquiring or transmitting the illness,” he noted.
Dr. Young told KAMR there’s also seasonal viruses that pop up in the winter months in which no vaccines are available, at a time when people gather more indoors.
So what’s the best way to defend against all of these illnesses?
“Wash your hands frequently. Avoid sick people, obviously, if you know somebody is sick or symptomatic, try not to get too close or be in their space. Wash your hands, you might wear masks, if you’re inclined to do so. And try to keep your hands away from your face,” he emphasized.
As for getting the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccines together, “there is no decrease in the benefit of either of the vaccines when they are given together. And there’s also no increase in the risk of adverse effects. People tolerate them equally given in combination,” he said.