Doctors expect more flu cases in 2021; What you need to know to prepare

After a nearly non-existent season in 2020, the flu is expected to make a comeback in 2021, and doctors want people to be prepared by getting the flu shot now.

Here's what you need to know about what could lie ahead.

COVID measures kept flu cases low in 2020, doctor says

"We are expecting to see flu cases again this year," said Dr. Janice Johnston, Chief Medical Officer with Redirect Health. "Last year, it was pretty minimal, and I think that's because most people were staying home, social distancing, wearing masks and such."

Dr. Johnston and other medical professionals expect see a more active flu season this year.

Doctor says flu vaccine is safe; experts expect to see common flu strains

She says each year, people have reservations about getting the vaccine, but she assures its safe to do so.

"The flu shot and the technology behind that has been in place for many, many, many years, and so we definitely know that the flu shot is very safe and for the most part very effective as well.

Experts predict seeing the common strains of the flu most of us are familiar with.

"We usually see the H1N1 variation of the flu," said Dr. Johnston. "We also call it Influenza A and Influenza B."

Flu, COVID-19 share some symptoms

Experts say important to know that some flu and COVID-19 symptoms are the same.

"With the flu and for COVID, you’re looking at feeling kind of tired, run down, and tired, achy headache, fever, chills, body aches, those kinds of things. They're going to overlap a lot," said Dr. Johnston.

As there is no at-home test for the flu, people who do start feeling any of those symptoms that Dr. Johnston just described should go get tested for COVID-19.

"The best way to know is to test," said Dr. Johnston.

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