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cold and flu season 2021

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Do you remember when all we had to worry about at this time of the year was the flu? Those were simpler times. With the Omicron variant encroaching on the holidays, there are still millions of active Delta variant  cases. The Annual Review of Virology reports that, in general, respiratory infection cases are higher in cold temperatures. A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Infection on the SARS (also a respiratory infection) epidemic showed that rates of infection were 18 times higher in cold weather.

Now, we have multiple viruses to fight this winter. That means it’s even more important than ever to take care of your immunity in what is now cold, flu, and coronavirus season. While the CDC did report that influenza cases were down in 2020, experts also theorize this was due to quarantining and social distancing. Now, people are out more. We’re gathering and socializing. It’s still highly recommended to stay home and avoid travel during things highly contagious season, but here are tips for staying healthy if you must travel and be with family during these uncertain times.

 

cold and flu season 2021

Source: VioletaStoimenova / Getty

Get vaccinated

A lot of the vaccine talk has been surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine recently. And that is absolutely still important. The COVID-19 vaccine has been incredibly effective in reducing the number of hospitalizations and symptomatic illnesses due to COVID-19. Our World In Data shows there has been a recent dip in new cases, as more and more Americans become vaccinated. So, if you haven’t yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, do so. And, while you’re in the pharmacy, schedule your flu shot. The CDC reports that the flu shot drastically reduces your chances of getting sick, and if you do become ill, the vaccine might reduce the severity and length of symptoms.

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