Flu Shots More Important This Year, Health Experts Say

Photo courtesy USC-VHH
A local resident gets a flu shot during a recent drive-thru event at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. Experts are strongly urging people to get flu shots this year, especially because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, especially, is the time to make sure you get your flu shot, according to local experts.
It’s not likely that you’ll find a doctor who won’t urge a patient to get an annual flu shot in a normal year, mind you. However, the world has even more reason to keep hospital beds open at the moment because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Any way that we can prevent any kind of respiratory illness is important,” said Patricia Sung, manager of infection prevention at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. “Even under normal circumstances, it’s pretty important to get the flu shot.”
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Flu Shots More Important This Year, Health Experts Say

Photo courtesy USC-VHH
A local resident gets a flu shot during a recent drive-thru event at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. Experts are strongly urging people to get flu shots this year, especially because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, especially, is the time to make sure you get your flu shot, according to local experts.
It’s not likely that you’ll find a doctor who won’t urge a patient to get an annual flu shot in a normal year, mind you. However, the world has even more reason to keep hospital beds open at the moment because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Any way that we can prevent any kind of respiratory illness is important,” said Patricia Sung, manager of infection prevention at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. “Even under normal circumstances, it’s pretty important to get the flu shot.”
The flu, much like COVID-19, is a respiratory illness that can become incapacitating and fatal if not treated and when exacerbated by other conditions. Although some studies have indicated that individuals infected with both illnesses have twice the mortality rate, Sung said the actual data isn’t there yet.

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Coronavirus Demographics: Younger People Also Afflicted

While the tally of positive COVID-19 tests grows larger, the average age of patients has been inching lower in recent weeks as the initial wave of the pandemic has surged back with fury.
When the pandemic grew in March and April, hospitals found themselves overwhelmed and low on key supplies to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, and elderly men and women with pre-existing health conditions represented a large percentage of cases. A significant number of such patients came from skilled nursing facilities, whose residents sometimes made up a super-majority of deaths in a given community.
Now, in the weeks after Los Angeles County and state officials briefly relaxed public restrictions, it’s a different picture.

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