SEPTEMBER 25, 2020
THE REASON FOR THE SEASON: WHY FLU STRIKES IN WINTER
AN UPDATE FROM HATTIESBURG CLINIC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TOMMY G. THORNTON, FACMPE
The fall season is officially upon us. As the season changes and we get into colder months, there is a growing fear that there will be a second wave of coronavirus cases and other respiratory-related infections. Respiratory viruses, like the flu, typically spread more easily in cooler, less humid weather. The cooler temperatures allow the virus to remain viable longer, and since people tend to spend more time indoors during this time of year, the viral load is known to increase rapidly in confined areas.
The combination of COVID-19 and flu is unprecedented, so the interaction between the two viruses is still relatively unknown. We do know that coinfection is possible, and there are concerns about the risk of increased severity of flu coupled with COVID-19.
The looming presence of COVID-19 makes it more important than ever for everyone to get vaccinated against the flu virus. Though the flu vaccine will not prevent COVID-19, it can reduce the risk of flu illnesses and hospitalizations that could overburden our health care systems, which are already strained due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccinating oneself against the flu this fall will not only reduce the risk of catching the flu, but it will also help preserve much-needed health care resources.
In order to help preserve health care resources and reduce the number of flu illnesses, flu vaccinations are being offered at all Hattiesburg Clinic primary care and immediate care clinics throughout 17 counties in South Mississippi. Please contact your local primary care provider or immediate care as hours may vary. Prior to your visit, we ask that you check with your insurance provider regarding any cost-sharing responsibilities.
Additionally, Hattiesburg Clinic offers two other opportunities to receive your flu shot. Flu vaccinations are available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the main clinic, located at 415 South 28th Avenue in Hattiesburg. Hattiesburg Clinic is also hosting Saturday walk-in flu vaccination clinics on Saturday, Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the main clinic location.
To learn more about the flu and how to prevent it, visit www.hattiesburgclinic.com/flu or talk to your primary care provider. For questions about the walk-in flu vaccination clinic, call (601) 261-1620.
Thank you for entrusting Hattiesburg Clinic with your care.
Tommy G. Thornton, FACMPE
Hattiesburg Clinic, PA