Flu season hits hard, alongside COVID-19 and a respiratory illness

Schools, workplaces and families are already getting hit by the flu.
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 11:17 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Schools, workplaces and families are already getting hit by the flu.

Flu season usually starts around October and worsens as the fall goes on. This year, flu season is combining with a respiratory illness and COVID-19.

Jordan Shelton with the Central Shenandoah Health District said local health experts are starting to see flu-like symptoms at their urgent care centers. With cases already popping up, that may signal a more severe flu season.

“It’s really, really crucial that you go ahead and get your vaccine now to get ahead of that once we start seeing more of an uptick in cases when the flu season really gets more severe, which is in the late fall and winter,” said Shelton.

For people who are sick but who test negative for the flu and COVID, it may be a respiratory illness.

“You can still be sick with the respiratory illness that is not the flu or COVID-19, and we are seeing a rise in those respiratory related illnesses this year, so make sure that you’re staying home, taking care of yourself, even if it’s not the flu or COVID,” Shelton said.

The best way to protect yourself is regular hand-washing and getting a flu shot.

If you do get sick, get tested and stay home until you’re better.

The best time to get vaccinated is in September or October, and you can get a flu shot in many places, like Costco, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Kroger, Martin’s, and many locally-owned pharmacies.