Is the flu getting worse every year? We asked an expert.

As the summer sunshine is now behind us and we inch our way through crisp autumn into the depths of chilly winter, we also approach… the dreaded flu season.

You know, that throat that feels like you’ve swallowed a ball of barbed wire.

Those intense aching muscles.

Awakening boiling hot and shivering in sweat-soaked sheets.

The flu is that nasty beast we all want to outrun.

Ella Raguz is a registered pharmacist and National Clinical Educator for Ramsay Pharmacy. Here she shares everything you need to know, including how to best safeguard yourself and your family ahead of this year’s flu season.

Is the flu getting worse each year?

“While it may seem that way, it’s not quite the case,” says Raguz. “Some years it is worse, and other years it’s not so bad.” 

There are a number of different factors which determine the severity, including the flu strain itself and its infectiousness.

When the vaccine is developed each year, different strains are focused on.

“It’s always the same basic virus, but it mutates year on year.” 

Vaccination rates also play a part in the perception.

“If people are really good at getting their vaccines, it might actually seem like a less severe flu season because they are vaccinated.”

“Since COVID-19, we’re so much more aware of vaccinations and testing,” says Raguz, adding that people sharing their experiences on social media has also led to greater consciousness around the flu.