HOUSTON — The country in the Southern Hemisphere could predict how serious our flu season will be.
There is a big benefit from having Australia all the way down there in the Southern Hemisphere. Its winter season runs opposite ours. Since the flu is seasonal, Australia is usually suffering through flu outbreaks from April to October, while the flu season in the United States is from October to May.
Infectious diseases can be unpredictable, but experts use Australia as an indicator of how our flu season will go.
So, how was Australia’s flu season? Pretty bad. It had its worse flu season in five years. According to CNN, cases peaked about three times higher than the average. The flu season also started earlier than usual down under, which is an indicator of a severe season. That’s because an early start gives the virus more time to travel and infect more people.
American health officials are also concerned because of the pandemic. That’s because the flu all but disappeared when we all started masking and isolating. Most people have returned to something resembling normal, which could mean the return of the flu after a couple of years of no exposure. That means our immunity is down, making the flu vaccine more important than ever.