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Flu cases on the rise in the Tri-State, Evansville doctor says

Flu cases on the rise in the Tri-State, Evansville doctor says
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 11:49 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Flu cases are on the rise across the Tri-State, as well as the country.

Director of Family Medicine at Evansville Primary Care Dr. David Schultz says flu typically peaks in January and February, but says it isn’t unheard of for the worst part of the season to come later.

He says that over the past two years influenza has taken a back seat to COVID-19.

“We haven’t seen flu in the Evansville Tri-State area for two years,” Dr. Schultz said. “Last year I diagnosed absolutely no one with the flu.”

The Indiana COVID-19 Dashboard is showing COVID numbers have dropped to their lowest point since the pandemic began.

With that, the flu is coming back, but much later in the season than it normally does.

Schultz says the late surge is due to a number of factors, including unmasking and warmer than normal temperatures this winter.

Another factor is the effectiveness of the flu vaccine.

“Some estimates from the CDC estimate that the vaccine is between 30 and 40 percent effective for most individuals,” said Schultz.

He says flu is always changing and mutating, causing the vaccine to become less effective over time.

Schultz says they have seen an uptick in cases over the past two to three weeks.

“We’re expecting more cases of flu to hit the Tri-State, and as far as how serious that flu is, that remains to be seen,” said Schultz.

Schultz says the symptoms of influenza and COVID-19 are very similar, so if you’re experiencing any cold-like symptoms, he says you should stay at home and schedule a test. However, he says there are ways to protect yourself from ever catching the flu.

“First of all, if you have not received your flu vaccine, even though it’s less effective we still recommend it,” said Schultz. “The second thing is Vitamin C, 500 milligrams for adults. Vitamin D, 1,000 units a day for adults. And then good hand washing, good sleep and good nutrition.”

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