Experts warn of potentially severe flu season

New research shows that this flu season could be severe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health conducted two studies aimed at predicting hospitalizations during the 2021-22 flu season.

Using mathematical data, the researchers calculated that this flu season could result in as many as 600,000 hospitalizations.

For comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 200,000 people are hospitalized with the flu each year.

While it’s difficult to predict the future, experts say a combination of factors could make this winter particularly tough.

Children are going back to school, and since the flu was minimal last year, people were not exposed to the virus, potentially undermining the protection they would normally have.

Regardless of what the future holds, health officials are urging people to get their flu shots now in an attempt to prevent further strain on hospitals already overwhelmed by COVID-19 and other viruses.