A steady flow of advice from medical professionals locally here in Maine and nationwide is to get your flu shot before flu season really ramps up and especially because of COVID-19.

In an interview with Dr. Jarvis of Northern Light Health this week, WABI is reporting that their flu program will be starting in September in order to get a head start on avoiding two difficult viruses in one season, the flu and COVID-19.

The New York Times used the term 'Twindemic' in a recent article to describe what would be the worst case scenario, a difficult flu season alongside the COVID-19 pandemic.  These two viruses could create a terrible situation for healthcare and hospitals and creating a double whammy for the respiratory sectors of healthcare and for those who could potentially contract both in the same season or at the same time.

According to the New York Times, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is trying to get corporate leaders to inoculate their employees.  Meanwhile, we've all seen Dr. Fauci is pushing the message to get the flu shot to avoid having to deal with both viruses at the same time.

The CDC shows on their website about last year's flu season, with an estimated 39 - 56 million cases and up to possibly 60,000 deaths flu-related deaths.  This is considered a mild flu season result.

The Maine Center for Disease Control reported this past spring the cumulative influenza cases from September 2019 - May 2020 a flu season that resulted in over 10,000 positive tests of influenza with over 500 hospitalizations.

It is recommended to not get your flu shot too early, according to the CDC.  September and October are perfect times to get the shot, whereas August would be too early.

For more information about this upcoming flu season and more about the flu vaccine, visit the Center for Disease Control website.