Experts warn public to protect against the flu this fall

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 8:35 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The return of fall means a new school year, a new football season and a new flu season as well.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported low flu numbers in 2020.

However, experts believe we could see an influx of flu cases this year.

“It kind of boggles the mind that we have to think about two viruses at the same time. In North Carolina, typically the hardest part of the flu season is January to March, but that can vary from year to year.”

Dr. Pamela Brown, Lenoir County health director

According to the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, researchers estimate a possible 600,000 hospitalizations this flu season. That is an extra 200,000 more than its 2020 prediction.

Kylene Dibble, Director of Pitt County Parents for Public Schools, believes those numbers can be prevented if students and parents are cautious.

“The biggest thing is that we as a community and as parents remember that we are a team with schools, and that if we all work together with our protocols, we all keep our students safe and learning as much as possible.”

Kylene Dibble, director of Pitt County Parents for Public Schools

Brown believes the easiest way to prevent the spread of the flu and COVID-19 is getting the vaccines.

“Now there’s enough of the data in that the COVID vaccine can be given at the same time or similar time as the other vaccines, so folks may want to consider getting a COVID vaccine and flu vaccine, so put both on their schedules.”

Dr. Pamela Brown, Lenoir County health director

Supply for flu vaccines generally arrive in September. Residents interested in getting the vaccine should call ahead to make sure the supply is there and then schedule their appointment.

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