Last year’s flu season was nearly non existent and adds to the chance that this year’s will be severe

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Last year the flu season saw few cases, with zero reported at Monument Health.

Doctor Shankar Kurra, Monument’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, says that means the population wasn’t exposed to the virus last year and says that can make for a more dire season this year.

Kurra says the flu cycle is somewhat predictable, and that it’s common to have two or three years of a quiet flu season.

However, what he calls a raging flu season tends to follow.

He says flu seasons that follow a quiet one tend to be more severe since the body hasn’t seen the virus for a few years and reacts to it adversely.

Although it’s an old virus, antibodies aren’t primed and prepared and fire off too late to combat the virus.

He says that with COVID-19 still present, it’s best to air on the side of caution.

”We’re urging everyone to get the flu shot. Get the flu shot,” says Kurra, “and get the COVID shot. What we don’t want is something called a twindemic. In other words, you have a pandemic and you have an epidemic. You have a pandemic of COVID and you have a epidemic of influenza, or flu. You don’t want the flu and the COVID together, so please get the shot.”

Flu shots are available at most pharmacies in Rapid City and at Monument Health locations.

Kurra says it’s safe to get both a COVID-19 and flu shot at the same time, and he also encourages anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to get tested.

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