From the Greene County Health Department:
As the flu season is here, the addition of another respiratory illness on top of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could overburden health care systems, strain testing capacity, and increase the risk of catching both diseases at once. Even with a mild flu season, the convergence with a COVID surge could very rapidly overwhelm our hospital and clinic systems in and around Greene County. The Greene County Health Department has launched a community-centric free flu shot initiative. See embedded flier below:
For both the flu and COVID-19, the elderly and those with underlying conditions are more susceptible, but the flu also hits children particularly hard and spreads readily in schools. The more people in all age groups who get a flu vaccine, the more protected these vulnerable populations will be. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza (flu) vaccine that is appropriate for the recipient’s age and health status: children, working adults, older adults, people with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women.
Another concern is testing capacity and shortages in the substances, called reagents, needed to run the tests. The definitive tests for flu use is essentially the same approach that we use for COVID-19 tests. The same reagents are needed to extract DNA or RNA from samples in both tests. With flu and COVID-19 sharing similar symptoms, the demand for both tests may increase and lead to reagent shortages. The Greene County Health Department urges the community to get flu shots.
The Greene County Health Department is located at 217 E. Spring St., Suite 1, in Bloomfield. The phone number is (812) 384-4496 and the website is www.co.greene.in.us/health.