The overlap of COVID-19 and influenza is drawing concern with local health experts

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The La Esperanza Clinic is hosting walk-in flu shot clinics on Monday's and Friday's from 9-5

SAN ANGELO, Texas – No one knows if COVID-19 will persist at its current pace or if it will spawn a second wave. The peak of the annual flu season is only a few months away, drawing lots of concern for health experts. With two diseases on the line, doctors say San Angelo residents should prepare for the worst.

“There is already influenza A in town,” Local health authority Doctor James Vretis said. “We have seen one patient who had both COVID-19 and influenza A already so you can get both diseases at the same time. Either one of them can be really bad and the combination of both could be really worse.”

Many health departments around the area are hosting walk-in flu shot clinics. Places like the La Esperanza clinic are doing theirs from 9-5 on Monday’s and Friday’s. Health experts are saying this may be the most important flu shot season in modern history.

“It’s being referred to as a triple threat,” said Norma Dietz-Lee, who’s the La Esperanza director of outreach. “Triple threat meaning COVID, weather and flu. So the flu is in with that trifold of triple threat as we begin to see the cooler seasons approaching.”

This could potentially be a “50/50 situation” according to health experts. Following safety measures at this point is crucial. Preparing for the worst could save many lives.

“We may actually not have that bad of an influenza year if everybody continues doing the social distancing and continues wearing their mask and using good hygiene like we’ve been doing,” Vretis said. “This is a possibility of it being a fairly nice influenza year.”

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