BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Doctors said so far, seasonal flu cases are lower than normal.
Flu season is typically ramping up right around Thanksgiving, but a local doctor believes precautions are already keeping this virus at bay.
As you’re carving up the Thanksgiving turkey, local doctors say we all have one more thing to be thankful for: The Centers for Disease Control said this year, seasonal flu activity in the United States remains lower than usual for this time of year.
“We have not seen a huge spike in the number of flu cases, which…and I think is due largely to a lot of the things that we’re already doing for COVID-19,” said Medical Director of Disease Control for the Jefferson County Department of Health, Dr. Wesley Willeford.
Health experts say more people are staying home, wearing face coverings and washing their hands more frequently than in years past.
But they warn we’re not out of the woods yet.
“Usually, the worst time for flu often ends up being December, January, February is where we really tend to see the spikes. So, we’re a little bit off from that. Hopefully, we won’t see a spike, but hard to know what will happen,” Dr. Willeford explained.
As we wait for widespread use of a COVID-19 vaccine, doctors recommend getting a flu shot now, especially because it’s still unclear how the two viruses will interact.
“We know that flu sends people to the hospital every year. We know that we have a lot of people in the hospital with COVID-19 already. So, we just don’t want people having to compete for hospital beds depending on which virus you get,” Dr. Willeford said.
If you haven’t already gotten your flu shot, it’s not too late.
Doctors recommend that anyone six months of age or older get a flu vaccine.
They’re available at your doctor’s office, your local pharmacy, and even some grocery stores.