Doctors said that the early flu has reduced this decline to a great extent.

Dr., a special pathologist at Boston Medical Center and medical director of the Special Pathogen Unit. Nahid Bhadelia said that many people often do not realize that the flu shot does not provide immediate protection, your body needs a few weeks to build up, immune later. So he recommends it’s the weather Most people in the coming weeks, to start the flu vaccine early.

“Our priority should be to reduce flu activity because we can control communities as soon as possible,” said Bhadelia.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there were 740,000 hospital and 62,000 deaths last season. In Massachusetts, the state’s health department reported last season 60,000 emergency room visits for flu and 8,000 hospitals.

The Baker administration said last month that almost all students under the age of 30 are anticipating a concurrent outbreak of the flu and COVID-19 by the end of this year. The administration said it has ordered an additional 300,000 doses this season and hopes to have enough supplies to meet the increased demand.

Flu shots are offered at various locations, including local pharmacies and often the city and city health department. When in doubt, call your doctor.

In New England, the annual flu season usually begins in October and lasts until March. Results of flu tests (excluding rapid testing) are usually reported to the state’s health department, who say it has not yet reported the case. The department hopes to begin its weekly flu reporting on Oct. 9

But in New York City, Professor Dr. at Mount Sinai’s Econ School of Medicine. Peter Palis said that his hospital registered its first case of flu on Friday.

“I don’t know the history of the patient or it was a passenger [who acquired the infection somewhere else], But it is a warning sign. “It could be that we have flu season a little earlier than normal.”

Palis noted that data from countries in the Southern Hemisphere that are emerging from winter, such as Australia, show a dramatic decrease in the number of influenza cases compared to their previous winter season. He said that it is not yet clear whether something has been discovered about COVID-19 or has interfered with the flu virus, or whether strict measures, such as wearing masks and social disturbances, make the flu common. Prevent from spreading

“The jury is still out,” he said.

Regardless, Paley said that the best advice for all people over the age of 6 months is to take a flu pill soon. The vaccine is generally effective from 40 percent to 60 percent for disease prevention. But even if it does not prevent a patient from getting the flu, Palais and other experts say that it will reduce the severity of the disease.

“We use seat belts and we insure our homes against fire,” he said. “Not every house burns and not every car crashes, but it is done as insurance against the actual incident.”

Palese is working on a “universal” flu vaccine that, it hopes, someday patients may only get one shot that will protect them for years and be more effective than the current annual vaccine. He said testing on a small number of patients has shown the vaccine to be safe and capable of producing an immune response, but much larger testing needs to be done to show whether it is actually effective in preventing the flu.

There are some concerns – if given too early – that flu shot defenses will be discontinued in older patients with less strong immune systems. But Dr. Stephen Gravenstein, director of the division of geriatrics and palliative care at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School and Lifespan Health System, said that strong vaccines typically given to patients over 65 years of age provide seasonal protection when given in September .

“Immunity is reduced by us and others if they receive the standard vaccine and not the cultured vaccine,” Greystein said. “But this increased shot in older adults is paid for by insurance and they should get it.”

Gravestine said another cause of the flu is prevention from a heart attack. A 2018 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients who are hospitalized for a heart attack are more likely to be diagnosed with flu than other times, after the flu is detected in patients.

But this flu season, this link is particularly salient as both flu and COVID-19 indicate an inflammatory response in patients. And people with underlying health conditions, such as coronary artery disease, already have an increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19, according to the CDC.

“When people are infected, whether it is influenza or a bladder infection, it creates an inflammatory response, and that as an inflammatory response the body tries to fight the infection, increasing the ability of blood clots. Is, and when it plugs, and when it plugs capillaries into the heart, you have heart attacks.

Nevertheless, some patients are reluctant or afraid to take the flu pill. This year Gravenstein said, in particular, there is no time to hesitate.

“When I come across patients who are reluctant to get vaccinated, many have quit smoking, and I tell them, it was tough,” he said. “But how hard is it?”

Kay Lazar can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @GlobeKayLazar.

Leave a Reply