After two seasons of historically low flu numbers, experts predict a severe 2022-2023 flu season.

How did they make this prediction, and what can you do to prepare for it?

The CDC estimates that there have been 9 to 41 million flu cases each year between 2010 and 2020.

Flu activity was unusually low throughout the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons, likely due to COVID-19 mitigation measures such as face masks

As lead writer Angiezel Merced-Morales, MPH, and colleagues wrote in the July 2022 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “Since SARS-CoV-2 emerged in the United States in early 2020

 The adoption of COVID-19-related mitigation measures may have had an impact on the timing or severity of influenza hobby.”

This is the first winter where COVID-19 restrictions have been almost completely lifted across the country.

The biggest indicator, however, lies in Australia. Australia is located in the southern hemisphere and thus experiences its flu season before the United States.

Additionally, Australia’s flu cases peaked about two months earlier than usual, alerting experts that the flu season could start in the United States sooner rather than later.