Governor DeWine says health experts working ahead to prepare for flu season

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor Mike DeWine says the state’s fight against the coronavirus will evolve this fall and winter. The governor and his team of medical advisers are keeping a close eye on one challenge, the reopening of schools and universities, but another one looms on the horizon as they’re also closely studying the approaching flu season. 

Governor DeWine says, “What the experts have told us, is what you really don’t want is to have the flu and have COVID. And that is a real recipe for disaster.” 

People will contract the flu this season, and the coronavirus will likely continue to spread. But Governor DeWine says every effort must be made to keep people from getting both at the same time. “We’re optimistic that if we can keep wearing masks, keep social distancing, the flu season may be less than we normally see it.” 

The state’s health experts say it’s clearly better to be outside during the pandemic, so there is concern the spread will go up when it’s colder. Governor DeWine says, “That’s the concern, that when you get to November, December, January, and we’re all inside, we’ll see the spread really kick up.” 

The governor says masks are working in the southern hemisphere, where winter is winding down, but he says the most effective weapon against the flu is a flu shot. When people do get sick, Governor DeWine says the state has plenty of medical resources to fight both the flu and coronavirus battles at the same time. “We don’t have to think too hard about it, besides getting a flu shot it’s the same kind of protection, sanitation, keep your distance in regard to the flu as it is in regard to the COVID.”     

And Governor DeWine says the state will be more aggressive in sharing information with the public. “I just think that is part of the job that the public health officials have, to tell the public what they know about the flu and about how dangerous it is to have the flu and have the COVID.” 

Governor DeWine acknowledges the flu shot is not perfect, but his advisors say it will lessen the symptoms and cut down on the severity. He says last year only half of Ohio got the flu shot. He plans to get his next week. 

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