New Flu Fears Amid Pandemic

Doctors are warning of a one-two punch if COVID-19 isn't brought under control as flu season looms.

Posted: Sep 8, 2020 7:29 PM

Though the Tri-State has seen relatively low COVID-19 case counts over the past few weeks, health officials fear the flu season will erase all the progress.

"When you have winter, and indoors, you could expect an uptick of any respiratory illnesses, explained Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases. "If we do have a full blown flu season--which I hope we don’t--and we do not get control over the coronavirus, you could have several challenges."

Dr Fauci is among an ever-growing number of health professionals looking to the coming weeks, as COVID-19 shows no sign of stopping.

Among the challenges doctors and caregivers are facing: the one-two punch of the flu and the coronavirus.

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"Health care providers are currently struggling with coronavirus, so when we add the flu, it just adds a really big strain across the board," said Wren Riley Grimes, Director of Operations for Senior Helpers in Evansville.

That's especially true for older populations.

They're not only vulnerable to COVID-19 complications, but flu ones as well.

With around 800 Americans dying each day from the coronavirus pandemic, those working closely with seniors fear the flu could take another toll

"In 2010-2019, there were approximately 336,000 deaths according to the cdc from flu. In 2017 and 2018, of those numbers 90 percent of those deaths were adults 65 and older," Riley-Grimes added.

A population already hard hit now, bracing for another blow.

Fortunately though, many of the same measures currently being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks and social distancing, are also effective in fighting flu .

The difference now? Flu vaccines are already available.

And experts say--this year--it's especially important to get one.

Medical experts say there's no official start to the flu season, it varies from year to year.

But they say, now is the time to get those shots.

Typically it's around October that cases begin to spike.

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