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There has been a steady increase in the number of flu cases reported recently. This is unusual because the flu season usually runs from March to September.1  In 2019 there were only 8 reported cases of flu between October and December, while in 2021 there were 277 cases reported during the same period.2

WHY ARE WE SEEING FLU NOW?

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The use of masks, social distancing and restriction of movement meant that there were fewer cases of flu in 2020 and 2021.1,3
As non-pharmaceutical interventions like using masks and social distancing have been relaxed, flu cases are starting to increase. 1,3

CAN I BE INFECTED WITH FLU AND COVID-19 AT THE SAME TIME?

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  • Yes. It is possible to have flu and other respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 at the same time. When someone is infected with an influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, this is called a co-infection4
  • We are likely to have flu and COVID-19 virus’s circulating at the same time which will increase the chance of co-infection.4,5
  • Prevent healthcare visits and severe COVID-19 and influenza by being vaccinated against both diseases.5,6

ARE YOU AT HIGH RISK FOR COMPLICATIONS FROM FLU?

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  • Individuals younger than 2 years
  • Individuals older than 65 years
  • Pregnant woman including the post-partum period
  • Individuals who are morbidly obese
  • Individuals infected with Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (TB) or Human
    Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Individuals with chronic diseases like Diabetes or Asthma

More information on HIGH RISK INDIVIDUALS 

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM FLU?

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To prevent contracting or spreading flu:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Wear your mask
  • Clean your hands regularly
  • Avoid touching your face and clean and disinfect common areas

More information on FLU IN YOUNG CHILDREN

Ask your Healthcare Provider about the flu vaccines available this season.

 



1. https://www.nicd.ac.za/alert-increase-in-influenza-cases-in-south-africa/ 2. WHO Flunet. 3. Sanz-Muoz, I et al. Social Distancing, Lockdown and the Wide Use of Mask; A Magic Solution or a Double-Edged Sword for Respiratory Viruses Epidemiology? Vaccines 2021:9;595 4. Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions: 2021-2022 Season/5.Blumberg L, Cohen C, Dawood H, et al. Influenza NICD Recommendations for the diagnosis, prevention, management and public health response. Available at: https:// www.nicd.ac.za/ wp-content/ uploads/2020/04/INFLUENZA-GUIDELINES-2020.pdf. 6. WHO. Co-administration of seasonal inactivated influenza and COVID-19 vaccines. Interim Guidance June 2021. 7.https://www.news24.com/health24/medical/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/flurona-coinfection-with-covid-19-and-flu-on-the-rise-should-yoube-worried-20220110-2

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