Approaching flu season causing concerns for ‘twindemic’

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — After record low numbers of influenza cases reported last winter, medical experts are concerned the flu may be back in a big way this fall.

With temperatures still hovering near eighty degrees, it may seem a little early for some to go get their flu shot, but Siouxland District Health Deputy Director Tyler Brock says it’s never too early.

“We would recommend that people get vaccinated as soon as it’s available to you. More and more vaccines gonna be in the community over the next few weeks,” Brock said.

With the delta variant still on the rise across Siouxland, doctors are warning people of a potential for a “twindemic” that combines the outbreaks of COVID-19 and influenza, causing hospitals to be overwhelmed with patients suffering from either virus.

“I think it is a concern especially as we’re seeing the COVID numbers climb here locally. If we start getting influenza on top of it, it’ll be a little more of a challenge to take care of both diseases at the same time,” said Unity Point Health-Sioux City Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jeffery O’ Tool.

Luckily there’s approved, safe protection against both diseases with the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccines and Dr. O’ Tool says that it’s perfectly fine to get both done at the same time.

“You can actually get your COVID shots or COVID boosters, when they’re available, at the same time as your flu vaccine. There’s no concerns, they’re different technologies. Unfortunately, it’s two shots but they’re safe to get together.”

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