NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — New Hanover County public health officials are getting ready for something they haven’t encountered since 1918 — a flu season during a pandemic.
Like usual, they’re encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
However, health workers could face a much bigger challenge this year.
“If we have an increased amount of flu moving through the community, it could potentially put a burden on our hospital,” Carla Turner, New Hanover County’s public health assistant director, said.
Several hospitals across the U.S. have been overrun with COVID-19 cases. In those instances, hospitals ran out of crucial supplies, health care workers got sick, and less beds were available to those who needed them.
“If we’re all being real cognizant of washing our hands, wearing a mask and standing six feet apart, that’s gonna cut down on the spread of several respiratory illnesses. Not just COVID-19,” Turner said.
Though they’re different viruses, coronavirus and the flu both have symptoms like fever, fatigue, and a cough. Depending on what symptoms someone experiences, they can be easy to mix up.
By getting vaccinated, Turner says you’re not only helping health workers, you’re protecting yourself and those around you.