PERRYSBURG, Ohio — The flu virtually disappeared from the United States during the 2020 winter season, according to the Associated Press.
Experts credit masking, social distancing and people staying home for the low rates. Doctors also say there was a push for people to get vaccinated against the flu.
The 2021-2022 flu season is fast approaching. Pharmacies are starting to put out the signs encouraging patients to get their flu shot, something internal medicine physician with Mercy Health Primary Care in Perrysburg, Dr. Dilnoor Patti, says is very important.
"With COVID increasing again, people aren't masking that much; people are out because they are vaccinated," Patti said. "You should avoid hospitalization because of influenza because you have patients that are struggling with COVID."
Patti explained that COVID-19 can have similar symptoms to influenza and there are new variants every year. So, now is the time to get the shot.
"Mostly we recommend it at the start of fall," Patti said. "That time is perfect because it stays through the end of March."
Patti said the flu shot is recommended for anyone 6-months-old and up, especially anyone who is immunocompromised or pregnant, though she said it is up to each individual patient to make that choice.