It would seem our efforts to stem the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, has the added benefits of slowing influenza spread. That should come as little surprise, given both viruses are respiratory diseases. However, it goes to show just how much more contagious Covid-19 is than the flu.
Aside from spring break in March, January is usually a peak influenza time for Northeast Texas. That’s likely because of the holidays and cold weather giving people reason to congregate inside where the germs are more easily spread. 2018 was a particularly bad year here for the flu, with Paris Regional Medical Center reporting higher incidences earlier than in years past.
A greater awareness for the need to get a flu vaccination also is a likely contributor to flu control this year. The vaccine was a poor match in 2019 and 2020, but even in years when there’s a bad match, the vaccine may lessen the severity of symptoms. The real chance that a person can simultaneously contract the flu and Covid-19 may be a driving factor in the decision to get a flu vaccine.
It’s not too late to get your flu shot, as flu season can last into May. Remember that it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to do its job with your immune system. And don’t forget the masks and hand sanitizing.