With fewer COVID restrictions, what will flu season look like in 2021?

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Flu season is just around the corner and now COVID cases are spiking due to the delta variant. So what does that mean for your likelihood of getting sick this fall or winter?

Healthcare professionals are anticipating that the odds may look a bit different than they did last year.

“It should be interesting to see, but if the same precautions are out that are out today, I would anticipate an uptick in viral diseases and communicable diseases across the span of the winter months.” said Dr. Nancy Pook, emergency department physician with Kettering Health.

That’s because practices and adaptions to the pandemic have changed since last year when the pandemic was relatively new. 

“Last year was one of the lowest amount of flu occurrences we’ve had in many, many years,” said Gregory Braylock, manager at Zik’s Family Pharmacy. “The reason for that was, you know, the pandemic protocols were all in place. The other reason for that is because the schools were virtual.”

Health trends show that since restrictions have lifted and people have once again started to congregate, not only are cases of viral illness such as RSV and COVID spiking, the flu is liable to cause issues this year as the cooler months set in. As a result, professionals are recommending that everyone, even young people, get vaccinated against both the flu and COVID-19. 

“There are young, healthy people every year who get the flu, and who have just catastrophic illness. And so it’s a little bit hard to exclude the vaccine from those healthy adults when you know … a certain proportion of those will also get sick and could even die. So that’s why public health recommends the flu vaccine to be very widespread and it does so even from the youngest of ages.”

And lucky, the CDC said this year, you can get them at once if you choose. 

“It’s going to save you a trip,” Braylock said. “There’s no interaction [between the vaccines]. It’s very safe. There’s no problems whatsoever with getting them both as the same time.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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