Experts give tips on how to prepare for flu season

Local flu cases drop significantly
Posted at 1:36 PM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-19 01:02:04-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The fall brings football season, colder weather and of course the flu season.

This year the flu season will be unlike any other before as the threat of COVID-19 looms large.

"The symptoms are so similar that we are going to be doing a lot of dual testing this year," said Dr. Autumn Morales of Christus Spohn Hospital-Kingsville.

Headaches, body aches and fevers are just a few of the symptoms that could be flu or the novel coronavirus, which makes it hard to differentiate between the two.

"It creates a lot of confusion with flu and COVID," said Dr. Jaime Fergie, the director of infectious diseases at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

In a year that is very different, both doctors are urging families that the best way to prevent the flu remains the same as it's always been.

"Without any hesitation get your child vaccinated, get yourself vaccinated," added Dr. Fergie.

For those who believe that it may not be safe to walk into a doctor's office, pharmacy or emergency clinic to get your flu shot this year, both doctors say those locations are taking the necessary sanitation steps to keep people safe.

"Most offices are screening folks really well," added Dr. Morales.

The flu shot this year might be more important than ever. The United Way of the Coastal Bend has partnered with FamilyWize and 2-1-1 Texas so Coastal Bend residents can get their flu shots.

Through the group, anyone who is over the age of 18 and is uninsured or cannot afford the flu shot, 2-1-1 Texas is offering vouchers for those people to get their shots for free.

"Folks call 2-1-1 and ask for the voucher for the free flu shot," said Donna Hurley, the vice president of community outreach for The United Way of the Coastal Bend. "Then go to Walgreens and get their flu vaccine there."

With COVID-19 protection measures already in place, this could mitigate the severity of the 2020 flu season.

"If everyone is really attentive to hand sanitation and other measure, all those measures are going to be ones that bring the flu season down," Hurley said.