WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Concerns over a potential severe uptick in flu cases this winter are looming as Australia recovers from its worst flu season in five years.

Historically, the kind of flu season that Australia has is typically what can be expected here in the U.S. Cases of the flu have skyrocketed there, and health experts are warning Americans to brace for a potential uptick in cases.

There are steps you can take now to prevent illness. Getting a flu shot is a top recommendation from medical professionals.

22News spoke with Dr. Brian Sutton of Baystate Urgent Care, who said there are additional ways to stay healthy. “The flu is transmitted by droplet particles from coughing, sneezing, talking. So wearing a mask in public, I think we can extrapolate from the last two flu seasons that the increased mask wearing in 2020 and 2021 knocked down the flu season substantially.”

Since the flu spreads through droplets, hand-washing and continued social distancing are other effective ways to avoid catching the flu. It also is safe to receive a flu shot and a Covid-19 booster shot at the same time, one in each arm will reduce soreness.