Chris Schulz Published

State Health Officials Eye Upcoming Flu Season

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The state’s health officials continue to focus on COVID-19, but there are rising concerns about the flu.

During Monday’s COVID-19 press conference, state health officer Dr. Ayne Amjad joined Gov. Jim Justice and Ret. Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer in encouraging West Virginians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, Amjad also advised listeners to get their flu shot along with their COVID-19 vaccines before the upcoming flu season.

“You can get them both at the same time,” she said. “Surely they’ll put them in different arms. But just want to reiterate that it is going to be, likely, a bad flu season based on other trends we are seeing across the world.”

Hoyer said that COVID pressures on the state’s hospital system need to be drawn down before the fall and winter flu season.

“298 in the hospitals: while that is a manageable number, we need to understand that we need to continue to draw down the pressure, particularly going into flu season, the fall and winter and other challenges to reduce that stress on our system, as well as our health care providers,” Hoyer said.

Justice closed the press conference by warning against the changing seasons and the challenges lower temperatures will bring.

“It’s gonna get colder, and things are going to get tougher,” he said. “The last flu season was very, very mild. But everybody around had a mask on and everything else and today that’s really changed. From the standpoint of the flu, it could very well be that we have a tough flu season.”