Pottawatomie Co. warns against the flu, COVID-19

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 5:13 PM CDT
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POTTAWATOMIE CO., Kan. (WIBW) - Pottawatomie County Commission is warning residents of the dangers of Flu Season coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pottawatomie County Commission says as the nation enters Flu Season, it may be more important than ever to get a flu shot.

According to the county, flu season peaks from December to February every year and healthcare experts are concerned another respiratory illness coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic could place strain on healthcare systems and resources. Additionally, it said the winter sees more residents spending time indoors, in closer proximity to each other, which increases the risk of catching both the flu and COVID-19 at once.

County officials said the residents that are most susceptible to the flu are the same as those most susceptible to COVID-19 - the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. It said children may also be hit particularly hard, and children being children, they may also spread the virus more quickly.

According to Pottawatomie Co., the time to get a flu shot is early in the season, late September through October. It said this allows the body to develop an immune response before being exposed to the flu.

Josh Adler, MD, the chief clinical officer of UCSH Health said getting the vaccine in this time period “generally provides protection throughout the entire flu season."

County officials said currently, it is unknown what having COVID-19 and the flu at the same time will do to a person. However, like most respiratory infections, both target the lungs.

According to Pott. Co., many doctor’s offices and health departments are offering walk-in or drive-thru clinics to help in separating healthy patients just wanting the vaccine, from those being seen for diagnosis or treatment. It said many pharmacies are also providing shots.

The County said while mitigation efforts for avoiding the spread of COVID-19 also help mitigate the spread of the flu, with increased togetherness there is an increased potential for exposure.

Pottawatomie County Officals said the best practices to fight COVID-19 and the flu are to get flu shots as soon as possible, continuing COVID-19 mitigation efforts, wearing masks, social distancing and increased hand washing.

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