Why US may be in for a severe flu season

Countries in the Southern Hemisphere are experiencing a severe flu season, which may be a harbinger of what's to come for the U.S. this fall, NBC News reported Aug. 4. 

Health experts often look to the Southern Hemisphere's flu season, which typically runs from April to September, as a predictor for the Northern Hemisphere's upcoming flu season.​​

Australia is facing its worst flu season in five years, with infections spiking for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to data from Australia's health department. Flu season also started earlier than usual in the country, giving the virus more time to circulate and infect the population. 

The CDC is on high alert for signs of an aggressive flu season in the U.S., according to Alicia Fry, MD, chief of the CDC's Epidemiology and Prevention Branch. 

"We watch … all of the Southern Hemisphere countries very closely, hoping that we get some sort of insight, but it's not perfect by any means," she told NBC News.

Pharmacies and physician's offices are expected to receive vaccine shipments in the coming weeks for the nation's annual fall flu shot campaign. 

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