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Lowcountry doctor discusses upcoming flu season, COVID-19

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - Flu season is almost here.

Local heath officials are encouraging everyone eligible to get their shot. According to the CDC, flu activity usually begins to increase during this month and peaks between December and February.

Within the last week, 15 people caught the flu in South Carolina. That’s according to the State Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Five flu related hospitalizations were also reported last week and fortunately, there were no flu-related deaths.

In the Lowcountry, Wednesday we’re hearing from a medical expert about the dangers of the flu being prevalent alongside COVID-19.

With COVID numbers trending the way doctors would like in Beaufort County, there’s a new worry as we approach the height of flu season.

“What we would hate to see is the COVID numbers coming down and then we just trade that for a busy flu year,” said Dr. Kurt Gambla, CMO Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Gambla of Beaufort Memorial would like to see people be cautious of both viruses.

“It’s easy to forget about flu because we’re so focused on COVID, but flu is still a thing and people still get very sick and die of flu every year.”

Now, there’s new information, that he hopes will help prevent that worst case scenario from happening.

“Originally we thought that there needed to be a 14 day delay. I think that was an abundance of caution because we were worried about side effects and things like that, but now that we have more experience with vaccines I think most people believe now you can get the vaccines, you know, one stop shop and get them both while you’re getting stuck.”

Dr. Gambla also added that October is the best month to get your flu vaccine, before the height of the season.

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