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Quad City health officials concerned for flu season

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 8:25 AM CST
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Quad Cities (KWQC) - Healthcare workers are preparing for a surge in illnesses on two fronts: the coronavirus and the flu.

“This is going to be an extremely busy month for public health as it has been for most of the year,” said Chief Operating Officer of Rock Island County Health Department, Janet Hill.

The CDC reports December as the time to see flu cases peak and with an anticipated surge of covid-19 cases, health officials have their work cut out for them.

Health officials say they are doing their best to urge the public to get flu vaccinations. They say the more people to get vaccinated the less of a risk resources will be limited.

Since resources are already in use for coivd-19 patients, health officials are expecting to hit a cross roads if the public doesn’t do their part.

Hill says health officials are preparing to work even more this month.

“We are very worried about that, flu and covid use the same resources, ICU beds, specialized staff, and the ventilators, so if someone has a serious case of flu, that will be competing for the same resources that someone who has a serious case of covid,” said Hill.

She also says, if the public doesn’t get vaccinations, hospitals could see the affects.

“Were fighting two things right now, a normal flu season and coronavirus which can act and seem like flu,” said Vice President of Physician Services and Chief Medical Officer at Genesis Health Center, Dr. Kurt Andersen.

Dr. Andersen says they are worried about their hospital overflowing with patients if the public doesn’t get their vaccinations for the flu.

“And if you add flu season on top of that, with some patients who sometimes get very sick with Influenza, that could certainly only make that problem worse, and we are very concerned about that, at the point where we seen our resources- because its very hard to provide all the care that we can provide for the community, not just COVID-19 patients, not just Influenza patients, but patients with heart disease, diabetes and stroke,” said Dr. Andersen.

Even though a covid vaccine is not readily available, flu vaccines are available, and health officials are urging the public to get one.

Flu vaccinations can be accessed at the health department, a primary care provider or numerous pharmacies.

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