Fall 2022 COVID Flu Update From Complete Health Partners It seems like since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020 the timing of our usual winter illnesses have been off. Normally we see flu season peak in December and February, this year though, especially in the southeast it feels like flu season never ended. At all 3 of our clinic locations, we have been seeing positive flu patients all summer long. We can usually look to Australia’s flu season to try and predict what our season will look like in the coming winter, and it looks like it will be coming early and heavily. We are in anticipation of another “twindemic” this year. See below for a full Fall 2022 COVID/Flu update.
What do I need to know about flu in Nashville?
Since the COVID-19 vaccine was introduced to the world, many COVID-19 protocols have been left behind. Few wear masks unless it is absolutely required, and social distancing is a thing of the past. Since we have let our guards down, flu is on the rise, and earlier than ever this year. With flu activity starting sooner, it points to a hard flu season because the virus will be circulating longer.
We typically see two main types of influenza viruses: type A and type B. These viruses are responsible for our annual flu season. This year the CDC flu view shows that the most prominent strain of the flu is H3N2, a type A flu virus. The virus is mostly infecting younger adults and children this year. According to the CDC’s latest numbers from the flu view, Tennessee has one of the highest number of cases in the country.
As a reminder, if you are feeling any of the following symptoms make sure to get tested:
- Sore throat
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Vomiting/diarrhea (more common in children)
Keeping track of all the new COVID-19 variants, subvariants, and all the differing symptoms has been nothing short of confusing. Last Thanksgiving was when we were introduced to the Omicron variant, and it had massive outbreaks throughout the country all winter long. Omicron was followed by subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5. Omicron BA.5 is the most dominant strain we are currently seeing. Thankfully, so far, we are seeing lower numbers of COVID since the pandemic first started in 2020. The fear though, with winter approaching, is that we may see another surge of COVID in Nashville like we did last year. As the days begin to cool and we all start going indoors we need to keep COVID protocols at the forefront of our minds. We need to reintroduce masks when necessary, social-distancing, and self-isolating in order to avoid a twindemic this season.
The symptoms of Omicron BA.5 are like flu symptoms, and if you believe you are experiencing any of the symptoms from the above list, you should get tested as soon as possible to get the right treatment necessary.
How is Complete Health Partners fighting COVID-19 & the Flu in Nashville?
Here at Complete Health Partners, we closely follow the data coming from the CDC, the State of Tennessee, as well as world virology experts to help prepare ourselves for both flu and COVID-19 waves. The CDC emphasizes that the strongest way to protect yourself from all viruses this winter season is to get vaccinated. At our clinics, we offer flu vaccinations for those 12 and older at all of our Nashville area urgent care clinics. We currently do not offer the COVID-19 vaccine but here is an interactive map from the CDC to find a location near you offering vaccines.
We offer COVID-19 and influenza testing at our 2 clinic locations. Our Sofia test, a flu/COVID combo test, gives us the ability to only swab you once to determine the illness! Once we know which virus you have been infected with, we can determine how to treat it.
Traditional treatment for the flu is one of two antivirals, Tamiflu or Xofluza. Both of these antivirals should be started as soon as possible after a positive flu test for the best reduction of flu symptoms. As for COVID-19 treatments, you must meet the criteria provided by the CDC to be prescribed Paxlovid. Like the flu antivirals, you must start it as soon as possible to reduce symptoms.
6749 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209
9am – 7pm, 7 days a week
9am – 7pm, 7 days a week