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Health & Wellness

Health care providers warn Texas could see a surge of flu & COVID cases this fall

A healthcare worker injects a COVID-19 shot into a person's arm.
Keren Carrion
/
KERA News
A nurse administers a Covid vaccine to Cunduan Zhang, 90, who said he was glad to finally get vaccinated, at Fair Park in Dallas, on Jan. 11, 2021.

Experts in the state are concerned about what they're calling a "twindemic," a possible surge in flu and COVID-19 cases.

It's a change compared to last year, when Texas saw a dramatic drop in flu cases due to COVID-19 precautions.

Hill Powell, interim executive director of the nonprofit The Immunization Partnership, explained that Texans had fewer chances of being exposed to the flu last season.

"People were quarantined, virtual learning, a lot of people were in their homes instead of in the offices, people were wearing masks,” she said.

With fewer people masking and physically distancing, state officials say flu cases could rebound. Powell said both viruses spread easily from person to person.

“They have similar symptoms, both symptoms include fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, and you can still have that people see with COVID."

That’s why she says it’s important for people to get vaccinated against both the flu and the coronavirus.

"We're seeing now that especially with the delta variant, it's really worsening the outcomes with unvaccinated pregnant women, and so it's important for every adult and for every child who can to get their flu shot and their COVID shot to do so, and this includes pregnant women."

Vaccines lower the risk of severe illness and hospitalization from both COVID-19 and the flu.

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Got a tip? Email Galilee Abdullah at Gabdullah@KERA.org.