Philip A. Chan, M.D., M.S., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and School of Public Health at Brown University and infectious diseases physician. Dr. Chan also serves as Consultant Medical Director for the Rhode Island Department of Health Division of Preparedness, Response, Infectious Disease and EMS (PRIDEMS). He is working with the Department of Health and other community organizations on several statewide initiatives related to HIV/STIs and other infectious diseases.
Seasonal influenza (flu) virus is detected year-round in the United States, with the fall and winter being known as the flu season, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While the CDC acknowledges the duration of the flu season varies, flu activity commonly begins in October and peaks in the winter between December and February. According to the CDC, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the duration and timing of flu activity has become less predictable. The World Health Organization (WHO) mentions treatments for the flu exist and range from those focused on relieving symptoms to antiviral drugs for those in a high-risk group. While colleges and universities are comprised of several shared spaces, prevention of the flu is possible through social distancing, washing your hands, and staying home when you are sick, among other steps to protect yourself and others from influenza.
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