What This Year’s Flu Season Means for Cancer Patients

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On November 9, a panel of MSK experts answered your questions about this year’s flu season and what it means for people with cancer in light of COVID-19.
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As flu season ramps up amid the continuing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, MSK held an Information Session for Patients and Caregivers with the goal of helping people understand the risks and what precautions they could take to safeguard against the flu this year.

The session was moderated by Kevin Browne, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer at MSK. It also featured specialists in Infectious Disease, Medical Oncology, Pediatrics and Geriatric Medicine. Topics ranged from guidance on flu vaccinations, to specific advice for parents and older adults and how COVID-19 could impact this year’s flu season.

“The flu shot is incredibly important, particularly this year… Symptoms that someone has for Covid and for the flu are likely to be very, very similar. In order to be proactive and to do everything possible in terms of getting sick this winter, my advice is obviously to get the flu shot,” commented Tobias Hohl, MD, PhD, Chief of the Infectious Disease Service at MSK. “It’s a really important tool that we have to improve patient health and to reduce some of the health concerns associated with the flu.”

MSK plans to continue these Patient and Caregiver Information Sessions on a regular basis to help address concerns from our larger community on a variety of cancer-related issues. Information on upcoming sessions and a recording of previous sessions can be heard on our website here.