2022 flu season: what to expect and how to stop the spread

Med Center discusses how to prepare for Flu Season
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 7:12 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Odds are you, or someone you know has been feeling under the weather recently. It could have to do with this year’s early flu season.

“Usually our flu season is anywhere from December to February,” said Med Center Health doctor, Suman Shekar. “But this year, we are experiencing it from October onwards.”

Shekar spoke with WBKO about how the hospital is preparing for a rough flu season.

“We are expecting around four to five times more hospitalizations this year, this season. Southern hemisphere Australia experienced flu season earlier and their flu season this year was very bad. So we always go by that and we are expecting the flu season to be bad this year.”

Though things seem bleak, Shekar says the community shouldn’t be worried but should get still their flu shot.

“For the last two years, we have not been exposed to any of these viruses and our immunity has gone down,” Shekar said. “By taking the flu shot, we are going to boost up our memory cells, we are going to boost up our immunity. So we shouldn’t be worried but we need to prevent it.”

Shekar placed a particular emphasis on ensuring children get the shot.

“Kids are the ones who need the shot right now, all the public schools have had a lot of cases of flu in the last couple of weeks and we will see a rise in flu cases during the holiday season,” said Shekar.

And while you may feel a bit sick after, she stressed that the flu shot does not give recipients the flu.

“Some patients do experience soreness in the arm, and low-grade fever, low-grade temperatures, for 24 hours,” Shekar said. “The flu shot does not cause the flu, it’s just the immunity built up in people that gives that effect.”

With hospitals filled with growing RSV cases and a nationwide healthcare worker shortage, Shekar says it’s important to get the shot.

You can find the best place to get your flu shot here.