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It’s flu season in Mesa County

In 2020 the flu season was mild, with no pediatric deaths or hospitalizations in Mesa County. But officials project this year’s flu season will be much more active due to precautions being more relaxed.
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 9:06 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Local doctors are projecting this year’s flu season to be worse than previous years.

“Last year we saw almost no influenza across the country,” said Pediatrician at Western Colorado Pediatrics Dr. Michael Whistler. “I think people were doing a lot of masking, social distancing, and influenza didn’t have a chance to spread. But this year we’ve seen a dramatic surge starting before Thanksgiving in the number of influenza cases we’ve seen.”

In 2020 the flu season was mild, with no pediatric deaths or hospitalizations in Mesa County. But officials project this year’s flu season will be much more active due to precautions being more relaxed. “Mesa county recorded its first flu related hospitalization on Dec. 23. and since then we’ve recorded seven total flu related hospitalizations in Mesa County,” said Mesa County Public Health Spokesperson Stefany Busch.

Mesa County Public Health says there have not been any flu related deaths thus far in Mesa County. But it is still early in the season. “It’s still kinda early in the flu season, we’re only six weeks in,” said Dr. Whistler. “But it looks like this flu season is gonna be worse than the flu season in 2019.”

According to the CDC, it is possible to get both the flu and Covid-19 at the same time, and local doctors are seeing it. “This year we have started to see some combinations of coronavirus and influenza,” said Dr. Whistler. “These are tricky viruses and when you get two of them at once its just that much more difficult to manage.”

Experts highly recommend getting both vaccines as the flu vaccine is available to those six months and up and the Covid-19 vaccine for those five years and up. Experts also advise practicing safe mitigation strategies such as frequent hand washing, keeping your immune system up, and social distancing.

The symptoms for the flu and Covid-19 are very similar. But the main difference is the loss of taste and smell is more common in Covid-19. Either way, experts stress if you are sick, to stay home to avoid spreading it.

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