Flu season expected to be active
November 3, 2022
The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is warning that this year’s flu season could be an active one. After a couple of years of much less flu than usual, the contagious virus is expected to be back in full circulation this winter.
“Largely due to widespread personal precautions related to COVID-19, reported flu activity was unusually low over the past two flu seasons in Wyoming and across the country. There are indications that may not be the case again,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer. “Unfortunately, we may be back to normal with flu.”
At this time, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are reporting high case levels in some parts of the nation, mostly in the east and south. The northeast, including Wyoming, is currently experiencing minimal numbers of influenza cases.
However, flu activity is increasing across most of the country, according to the CDC.
Both the CDC and WDH recommend the annual flu vaccine as the best way to protect against infection and prevent serious outcomes if you get vaccinated but still catch the flu.
Prescription flu antiviral drugs are also available to treat influenza and should be started as early as possible after symptoms appear.
“We know flu shots are safe and continue to be the most important strategy for influenza protection,” said Harrist.
“Flu vaccines reduce illness, hospitalizations and deaths. We recommend flu shots for everyone six months of age and older.”
Most people recover from influenza, but the illness can be unpleasant and is easily passed on to others, who may be at higher risk of complications and serious symptoms.
Symptoms generally come on suddenly and can include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, body and muscle aches and extreme tiredness.
Populations considered more vulnerable to the flu include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people over the age of 65. The WDH recommends that healthcare workers or anyone who is in close contact with high-risk individuals should also get a flu shot.
Flu shots are available through Crook County Public Health and are covered by most insurance plans.