YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) and the Yuma County Health Department are preparing for what could be a severe flu season.
The health department said flu season begins on October 1, encouraging you to get vaccinated before you get sick.
“Flu season is definitely coming up but it’s going to be very unpredictable, at least from what I can tell this year, meaning that I can’t really tell you exactly when it’s gonna hit Yuma,” said Yuma Regional Medical Center's Dr. Kristina Diaz.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the timing and duration of flu activity has been difficult to track.
“Normally we see a spike here, in January or February, but last year, we had a spike really early in November, December, so we really have to watch the east coast, see how they do it, and then we’ll know what to expect here in Yuma,” said Dr. Diaz.
The Yuma County Health Department started offering flu shots on Monday.
YRMC is also offering flu shots and said it has not seen any influenza cases so far this season.
“Last season, diagnosed we had over 1,000 cases of flu and that’s diagnosed, so you know that there’s more people out there sick,” said Kathy Ward, the Yuma County Health Department Deputy Director.
Coughs, headaches, fatigue, and body aches, are all symptoms to look out for.
But they are very similar to the symptoms of COVID-19, which is increasing in Yuma County.
“There’s actually a lot of people out there right now, coming down with Covid, so you want to make sure you’re protected against COVID and flu. You don’t want to get those at the same time, so we want to encourage you to come in and get both of those vaccines,” said Ward.
“Don’t be surprised if you get sick, get healthy, and then immediately get sick again. It’s just kind of the wave that we’re riding right now with the many viruses going around throughout the schools and throughout our community, and especially if you’re traveling, be on the lookout for that Covid,” said Dr. Diaz.