South Health District encourages everyone to prepare for flu season

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:36 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - CDC experts are concerned we could be facing a severe flu season this year.

With COVID-19 safety protocols in place last year, flu numbers were low. But that may not be the case this year.

Another flu season during a pandemic. Runny nose, coughing, fever and a headache, all signs of the flu and COVID-19.

Kristin Patten with South Health District (SHD) said now is the time to prepare. The South Health District serves 10 counties, which includes Lowndes, Brooks and Cook counties.

The health district said to get both shots if you haven’t done so already.

“We’re approaching flu season, and we want to remind everybody of the importance of getting vaccinated, not just for COVID-19 which, of course, we’ve been hearing about for months and months, but also for the flu. You do need both vaccinations to help protect yourself from both viruses this year,” said Patten.

The CDC said last year, there were very few flu cases, mainly because of COVID prevention methods, like masking, social distancing, hand washing and staying home.

CDC’s flu experts are concerned that reduced immunity could be a risk for a severe flu season this year.

The CDC said an increase in flu cases and severity could burden and strain our healthcare system and workers even more.

Mid-November through February is usually the peak of flu season.

With the holidays around the corner, SHD said there’s been a decline in COVID cases through the district in the last couple of weeks.

“We’re very thankful for that. We hope to continue to see that trend but we know with the holiday season approaching, in the past, we have seen a rise during the holiday season. We hope, of course, to avoid that this year but it can very well happen again,” said Patten.

Lowndes County is currently 35% fully vaccinated.

Patten said it’s important not to wait to get the flu shot. Now is the time to give your body enough time to build immunity before cases rise.

Flu vaccines are provided at all health departments.

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