And just like that, summer is over, which could only mean one thing: flu season is just around the corner.
As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions continue to loosen up, people are taking the opportunity to go out more often. Many have gone back to work. There are even schools in some areas that have returned to face-to-face classes.
While we are currently feeling the heat of summer, the rainy season will soon take over. It has been observed that during this wet period the highest cases of flu are being recorded. 
“After going through waves of a grueling pandemic, taking millions of people by surprise, the last thing we need is to head on to a flu season unarmed. As early as now, we must be ready and prepare for any and all eventuality,” said Dr. Donald Josue, Vaccines Medical Director at GSK.
To make sure the flu virus doesn’t catch you off guard, here are some of the measures you can do today to prepare for the upcoming flu season:
Update your flu vaccines
Making sure you get your updated flu vaccines significantly lowers the risk of contracting the virus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) a flu shot is recommended annually to ensure individuals are protected from the latest flu virus strains. 
Be mindful of social distancing
Because of many relaxed restrictions, it’s easy to forget that we are still very much in the middle of a pandemic. This means we should continue practicing social distancing whenever possible. Just like the virus that causes COVID-19, wearing face masks, keeping a distance from other people, or avoiding going to crowded places are few of the easiest, simplest ways to lessen the chances of catching the flu virus.
Keep your immune system in shape with a healthy diet
According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), you can boost your resistance by having a balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle. By giving your body the right nutrients and exercising regularly, you allow your immune system to perform at peak physical condition. This, in turn, enables your body to resist any symptoms that may arise.
Flu vs COVID-19 symptoms
The flu and COVID-19 share many similar symptoms, which makes it easy to confuse both of them. The first thing to do should you feel anything untoward is to not panic. Both flu and COVID-19 can have a fever, colds, and cough-like symptoms. But the latter can also cause fatigue, loss of smell, and loss of taste. Always consult with a medical professional to make sure you get the proper diagnosis and treatment.
This flu season, make sure you’ve got the leg up against the flu virus. Remember to wash your hands regularly, boost your immune system, avoid large crowds, and get that flu vaccine as soon as possible, because keeping yourself safe is the first step to making sure your loved ones and the community you live in are safe too.
NP-PH-NA-PRSR-220001 | May 2022
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 “Flu in the Philippines Insights into Perception and Action on Vaccination”, Bravo L, et al., IPSOS, last modified Jan 13, 2020, https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/publication/documents/2020-02/ph_whitepaper.pdf
 “Influenza Fact Sheet,” World Health Organization, last modified November 6, 2018, https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal).
 “Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos” , Food and Nutrition Research Institute Department of Science and Technology, last modified 2012, https://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/images/images/standardtools/NGF-2012.pdf
 “Similarities and differences between flu and COVID 19”, Centers for Disease Control, About Flu, last modified January 18, 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm
 “Five simple steps to protect against flu”, World Health Organization, last modified November 13, 2022, https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/five-simple-steps-to-protect-against-flu