Health Officials Urging People To Get Flu Shots Early

Each year, on average one in five people catch the flu.

DULUTH, Minn. – Health officials are urging people to get their flu shots early to help prevent potential impacts during the ongoing global pandemic.

Both the flu and COVID-19 are illnesses that affect a person’s respiratory system.

Each year, on average one in five people catch the flu.

Having an outbreak of both at the same time could have major consequences.

“As we enter the flu season we are anticipating COVID-19 could get worse and anticipating another wave of infection,” said Dr. Andrew Thompson, an infectious disease physician for St. Luke’s Hospital.

Health experts are even more concerned because it may be a lot harder to tell the two illnesses apart.

“A lot of the common symptoms are the same including fever, cough, shortness of breath.  Having similar symptoms it is really hard to tell the difference,” said Thompson.

If there is large activity of Influenza, many health professionals worry it could eat up resources such as lab testing and hospital capacities.

Carlton County Public Health and Human Services is jumping into action to help prevent a potential flu outbreak and further strain on resources.

The county will be hosting a drive-thru flu shot clinic this week to ensure people have access to a vaccine.

“With COVID-19 already circulating, we don’t want to have another respiratory virus that could create increased hospitalizations, increased illness, and increased deaths, said Jenny Barta, a public health nurse specialist for Carlton County. “Now is more important than ever to get vaccinated for Influenza.”

Catching the flu can be very likely this season.

In comparison, it is suggested to isolate within 24 hours of a fever versus up to ten days of quarantining for COVID-19.

The flu shot clinic will offer the different variations of the vaccine including the mist and egg-free options.

It takes place this Friday and Saturday at the Carlton County Transportation Center and is open to everyone.

If you can not attend the flu shot event, it is recommended to reach out to your health care provider for further information on how to get vaccinated.

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