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UCHealth anticipating early and rough flu season

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 4:10 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Colorado doctors are anticipating and early and rough flu season this year.

11 News spoke with UCHealth, which is already seeing flu cases. Doctors say the “typical” flu season usually starts around November, peaks around December/January, and goes until about March/April.

Last winter, UCHealth said there was a record number of Coloradans who got the flu shot with “historic” low flu cases, as more pandemic measures were in place.

“This year is a little different than last year in that last year we had school closures, we had mandated masks, we had a lot of uptick in the flu vaccines with the concern that we were going to have this terrible flu case, in addition to COVID. None of that is in place now, or it’s in a limited fashion,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention and control for UCHealth.

UCHealth is anticipating what doctors call a “twindemic,” which means we would face two pandemics at the same time: spikes in cases of COVID-19 and a simultaneous, rough flu season.

Doctors say the last extremely severe flu season we had was in 2009, with H1N1. Flu pandemics happen every 10 years or so, so Barron believes we may be due for another one, at the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think we are so in tune with worrying about COVID, that we forget there’s all these other things,” said Barron.

UCHealth recommends getting the flu shot as soon as you can. Doctors say you can get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the flu shot.

“The reason you get vaccines is not that it’s a guarantee that you’re not going to get sick. It does almost guarantee that you’re not going to get really sick. You’re not going to end up in the hospital, you’re not going to end up dying from this,” said Barron.

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