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Doctors push for everyone to get flu vaccine amid rising cases

Because flu and COVID-19 symptoms are so similar, anyone with symptoms is being tested for both viruses
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 5:41 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Flu cases are on the rise and doctors say now is a good time to get your flu vaccine before traveling and gathering with others during the holidays.

Dr. West Paul from New Hanover Regional Medical Center said there around 100 confirmed cases of the flu and one hospitalization right now.

This time last year almost everyone was wearing masks because of the pandemic, but Paul says that it also helped stop the spread of the flu. He also mentioned that more people were cautious about keeping their distance from others and washing their hands more frequently.

Paul says because flu and COVID-19 symptoms are so similar, anyone with symptoms is being tested for both viruses.

Last year was an extremely unusual year with no known flu cases or hospitalizations, but with the number of cases on the rise, health experts want everyone to get a flu vaccine before traveling and gathering with others over the holidays.

“We know with influenza it can be severe, especially for our immunocompromised and elderly populations. It’s certainly a concern for us, as is COVID,” said Paul. “COVID — much more threat to mortality and morbidity and hospitalizations, but similar precautions you would use with that.”

“Again, best defense against this is vaccination. Certainly the precautions typically that you’ve done: wash your hands — contact is still one of those things that we see spread the virus, particularly with influenza that may have a little greater propensity on surfaces — being cautious with new people if you’re in a crowded area, try to maintain your distance,” Dr. Paul said.

Flu vaccines are available through your primary care provider or local pharmacy.

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