‘A critical season’: Experts warn flu season could be worse this year

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Orange County health officer and other health experts are concerned that the upcoming flu season could be a bad one.

“This flu season that is going to start is a critical season,” Dr. Raul Pino said.

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Pino said our immunity for the flu is going to be lower this year because hardly anyone got sick with the flu last year during the pandemic.

“The masking, the handwashing, the distancing and everything else that we have done gave us last year probably the lowest flu season that we have seen,” Pino said.

READ: The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County encourages residents to get flu shots

Pino said the indirect impact on flu transmission probably saved a lot of lives, but it could mean this season will be much worse than we’re used to.

“Many people were not exposed to flu last year. So this year, their immunity for flu, community levels for flu immunity, will be lower than normal,” he said.

READ: Tips to help you avoid the flu

The best way to protect yourself is by getting the flu shot.

Pino said the peak flu season in Central Florida is the end of January through mid-February, but he said it’s not too soon to get your shot now.

READ: Can you get the flu shot and COVID-19 booster at the same time?

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.