The American Lung Association is among the chorus of health officials and organizations urging Americans to get a flu vaccine this year.
Dr. Payel Gupta is an Asthma Allergist and Immunology Specialist and spokesperson with the American Lung Association.
“The flu is not just a bad cold, it’s a serious respiratory infection, and I think sometimes people forget how serious it can be.”
She says everyone six months old and older can receive a flu shot.
“While we don’t yet know what will happen this fall and winter, we do know that communities may face a tough flu season while seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases.”
And this year, there are concerns of individuals potentially getting both the flu and COVID-19.
“Both of them are respiratory viruses that means they’re both affecting the lungs, and that’s not gonna paint a pretty picture for anybody that has both of them at the same time. It can be very scary to have one but to have both of them together can lead to complications, hospitalizations, and unfortunately, even death.”
She sights some sobering statistics.
“2019-2020, we had 56 million cases of the flu which lead to millions of visits to the doctors, which lead to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and up to 62-thousand deaths.”
According to the ALA, during 2018, 1,415 people died from the flu or pneumonia in Georgia.