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Flu season expected to be worse: Will Omaha residents line up to get the flu shot?

Posted at 7:44 PM, Sep 13, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Mask wearing and social distancing are less common now. And there's a warning the flu season will hit harder than in recent years.

"It's not a common cold. It's as serious as COVID," said Dr. Dan Fick, chief medical officer for Hy-Vee.

Doctor Fick said it has been five years since the last tough year of the flu.

"And in the interim obviously we've had COVID. For the last couple years people have done a lot of activities that help mitigate the spread of any respiratory virus," Fick said.

With talk of a bad flu season, we asked Omaha residents, are you concerned?

"No, not at all. I think we've all had too much fear put into us and I've never really been concerned about that. I've just lived and keep on living and try to be as healthy as I can be," said Omaha resident Theresa Gart.

Gart said she has never gotten the flu vaccine or the flu.

"I'll wait and see if I get it. I just try to eat healthy, live healthy, stay healthy, stay clean and neat," Gart said.

But Jessica Charlsen, an Omaha mother of three said she's not overly concerned but they will get their flu vaccines like they do every year.

"Making sure that we're all taking our vitamins and eating and getting our sleep, will just be how we kind of try and avoid it as much as we can," Charlsen said.

Doctor Fick said the concern is the flu impacts the younger population, unlike COVID, which hit older people very hard.

"The influenza vaccine won't prevent you from getting influenza but it dramatically decreases your illness and dramatically decreases your risk of hospitalization and death," Fick said.

And although Charlsen said kids hate getting the vaccine, "What we always say is we don't do it for us. We are doing it for other people so we want to make sure if we are around babies or around older people. We are looking out for them," Charlsen said.

An interesting fact, Doctor Fick said to gauge what our flu season will look like, the experts pay close attention to the Southern Hemisphere right now to see what flu strains are there. He said the best way to stay healthy this winter, get your flu shot and a COVID booster.

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