SACRAMENTO, Calif. — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season starts in October, peaks in January and February, and can last as late as May.
ABC10 Health Expert Dr. Tom Hopkins said the outlook for the 2022-2023 season looks similar to previous years. He said the key to prevention is the influenza vaccine, especially for those at higher risk like the elderly, young children, or those facing chronic illness.
Influenza numbers are only estimated each year and they can't be definitively measured because it's so common. So, it's difficult to predict how bad flu season will really be.
"It's too early to tell right now, but I would say clinically, from my standpoint, I've seen a number of patients that have come in for what's not a COVID illness but ends up being a flu illness. A lot of those folks don't come in like they used to because all of the precautions that we've had with COVID have really been helpful. So, time will tell, but it really is important for us to keep doing what we're doing, you know, using those precautions," Hopkins said.
Tips to avoid getting sick
Precautions like hand-washing, distancing and staying home from work or school if you're feeling ill. Hopkins also said it's still important to get tested for COVID-19 because a lot of the symptoms overlap.
If you're diagnosed with COVID-19 or the flu you might experience fever, cough, a sore throat, or a runny/stuffy nose. It can be challenging to tell the two apart. One thing to note is COVID-19 symptoms are gradual, while the flu typically comes on suddenly.
The CDC has more tips to prevent the flu here.
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