Can you catch the flu more than once this season?
Catching the flu once is bad enough, but can you get that pesky virus twice in one season?
“You can get the flu twice,” says Dr. Treitman. “If you get Influenza A H3N2, you can just as easily catch another strand of the flu like Influenza B or Influenza A H1N1 at some point later this season. In addition to that, there is always some small chance the current circulating viruses could undergo minor genetic changes and present themselves as a new strain of the flu, which the population could pose new susceptibility to.”
Anyone who has not developed immunity to all the current flu strains is at risk for contracting any of the virus strains. According to Dr. Treitman, the flu is still plaguing the Chicago area, and it’s important to continue taking steps towards prevention.
“Unfortunately, the flu has continued to circulate in high numbers in our community as of early February,” says Dr. Treitman. “The predominant strain H3N2 has declined slightly, though there are small increases of H1N1 and Influenza B. These increases have kept our total number of flu cases at a consistent level over the past seven weeks.”
Dr. Treitman recommends getting the flu shot now if you haven’t already.
Remember, even if you have had the flu this season, you can still get another strain of it.
He adds that getting the vaccine will help protect you from the other strains included in the vaccine. Getting the shot will also help with the severity of the symptoms if you do contract the flu and make it harder for you to spread the virus to others.
About the Author
Marrison Worthington, health enews contributor, is a public affairs and marketing manager at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. She is a graduate of Illinois State University and has several years of global corporate communications experience under her belt. Marrison loves spending her free time traveling, reading organizational development blogs, trying new cooking recipes, and playing with her golden retriever, Ari.