It's That Time Again: Flu Season 2020
Fall is a season of apples, cider, colorful leaves, but like everything else in 2020, this fall will be different. We will still have our fall favorites – we just might have to enjoy them in a mask while social distancing. And instead of just talking about the seasonal flu this year, we also have to address the elephant in the room. Will there be a coronavirus vaccine that we all need in addition to our flu vaccine? We know you are all wondering and have many questions about this topic. Unfortunately, right now, we aren’t able to answer those questions, so we will focus on the flu information. Watch for newsfeed posts to address Mayo Clinic’s recommendation for transplant patients on COVID-19 vaccines, should one become available in the near future. For information on how the flu and COVID-19 might co-exist this fall, please visit the CDC Website for the most updated information.
In order to avoid having to deal with an illness you could potentially prevent, you should seriously consider a flu vaccine. After all, none of us want to spend this beautiful season of fall colors and flavors in bed with the flu. Our doctors still say that influenza vaccination is the single best intervention you can do to prevent influenza and the complications that can come with it.
Due to the challenges put forth by social distancing, some of the flu vaccine locations such as your workplace, might not be able to offer the vaccine this year. Check with your local doctor on possible safe locations to get the vaccine, or check out this list for locations near you.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated (with an age appropriate vaccine) annually against influenza. Mayo Clinic recommends annual influenza vaccination to all transplant candidates, transplant recipients, their caregivers and other close contacts. As a transplant patient, you should not receive the FluMist, nor should any of your caregivers or close contacts. The FluMist is a live virus vaccine and could cause you to become ill. Although not 100% effective, getting a flu shot is worth the needle stick. Flu shots are the most effective way to prevent influenza and its complications.
If you are a transplant patient at another facility, contact your care team to ask about their recommendations for this flu season.
What you can do
While I’m sure during this current pandemic we don’t need to remind anyone about good hand hygiene, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t give you the list!
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water
- Use an alcohol-based sanitizer on your hands if soap and water aren't available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible
- Avoid crowds when the flu is most prevalent in your area
- Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet, and manage your stress
Do you get your flu shot every year? Do you make it a family affair – flu shots together and then a nice dinner out? Tell us about how you stay healthy!