EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - The fall season is almost here, and with it comes flu season.
Flu season begins on October 1 when cases of influenza typically begin to rise.
"The last couple of flu seasons, we've seen low numbers, which may be due in part to COVID and masking, and the season before last staying home," said Allison Gosbin, public health nurse for the Eau Claire City-County Health Department. "But this season is going to be a little more normal probably in the sense that people aren't masking as much."
Gosbin said that children, babies, pregnant woman, and people with chronic illnesses are at the most risk from influenza. The best way to prevent this illness is by getting vaccinated before the season starts, but doing other things like washing your hands, drinking plenty of water, and eating healthy help as well.
And with fewer coronavirus restrictions, the CDC's COVID Community Levels increased from low to medium in Eau Claire County last week, with a slight increase in hospitalizations. So, not only will we see a typical flu season, COVID-19 will be lurking too.
"We do know that they probably will be circulating at the same time, and it is difficult to distinguish the two, and the flu shot doesn't protect you from COVID, and the COVID vaccine doesn't protect you from flu," Gosbin said.
There is an updated COVID-19 booster shot being offered for this fall. Gosbin said that you can get both the COVID-19 and flu vaccine at the same time with your local health care provider, or at a pharmacy.