COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Local health officials are urging people to take the coming flu season seriously as the coronavirus pandemic heightens.
Columbia/Boone County Health Department spokeswoman Ashton Day said promoting flu shots is even more important this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An article on the Boone Hospital Center website reported the best way to deal with both COVID-19 and influenza is to get vaccinated.
Australia saw fewer cases of influenza during its flu season this year because people were taking COVID-19 precautions such as social distancing, wearing masks and washing their hands.
Day said this could be a rough flu season because of COVID-19 fatigue.
"It could definitely be a rough one, given the combination of flu and COVID and the current COVID numbers that we have right now," Day said.
University of Missouri Health Care is also promoting vaccines on its website. The organization has changed its usual flu shot procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow for safe vaccinations.
Day said going into the holidays, people should be even more cautious.
"It's even more important to follow those mitigation efforts because we don't want to create an imperfect storm," she said.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 38 laboratory positive influenza cases for the week that ended Saturday. The week before that the state reported 45 new cases of influenza.
A total of 312 influenza cases have been reported in Missouri as of Saturday. This time last year Missouri had 852 cases of influenza.