LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- The flu and cold season is upon us. Flu activity typically begins around October but adding COVID and its Delta variant to the mix could bring for another harsh winter and round of infections.
“We are anticipating more flu this season. Mitigation measures are relaxed. Last year, we didn’t have much flu,” Region 4 Medical Director Dr. Tina Stefanski explains. Dr. Stefanski says “expect the unexpected.” The flu and coronavirus could present with the same symptoms. “You will likely be tested for both. It is important to know so we know what interventions will be available,” adds Stefanski.
She says there are reasons to anticipate a difficult season. “Flu plus COVID in the community is a concern. We don’t know what that will look like. We could have co-infections. People could get sicker,” Stefanski adds.
But she says there is a way we could possibly avoid the two surges colliding. Dr. Stefanski continues, “Prepare now. Get vaccinated for COVID and the get the flu vaccination.”
The flu shot is widely available for individuals six months or older. “Four strands covered in the flu vaccine,” says Stefanski.
Three COVID vaccines remain available. The two-dose Pfizer vaccine is approved for individuals 12 years or older. Individuals 18 years or older is eligible for the two-dose Moderna or one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Dr. Stefanksi explains, “You can give flu and COVID shots at the same time, just different sites. COVID in one arm, flu in the other.”
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