Local medical professionals address facing flu season amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – With October almost here that means flu season is on the horizon, and as the country still faces COVID-19 medical professionals say this fall could be complicated.

As what is considered flu season approaches, Terri Brown, a nurse practitioner with Sullivan County Community Hospital says facing the flu plus COVID-19 will pose it’s challenges.

“It’s really going to be difficult, especially on the provider aspect because we have a viral illness and symptoms are pretty much similar,” Brown said.

Brown says while people should continue to focus on COVID-19 and mitigation efforts like social distancing, they must remember that the flu can also be dangerous for some.

“People die annually from influenza but it’s those people that are at high risk, the young people, people over 65, those people with chronic illnesses,” Brown said.

Medical professionals say one way to help protect yourself this flu season is to get vaccinated.

A local pharmacist says this is especially critical during the pandemic.

“If you come down with flu and your bodies working hard to fight that you’re more susceptible then for other infections, you could get a secondary infection. Sometimes it’s a bacterial pneumonia but this year we’re going to be primarily concerned with a secondary infection coming in from coronavirus,” said Courtney Beardsley, pharmacist at JR Pharmacy.

Beardsley says getting a flu shot could help not only the person receiving it, but also the hospital system.

“It is more important this year for more of us to get our flu shots than ever before—–if we can get more people vaccinated for the flu that will lead to fewer people being hospitalized,” Beardsley said.

Brown says the most recent flu season continued into the summer months of june and july and she hopes that trend can be reversed.

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