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Flu season is approaching fast

Mayo Clinic officials believe that just because there is no mandate, that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t stop wearing masks
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:58 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 8:18 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Flu season is right around the corner and with the pandemic still lingering, some health officials are concerned about vaccinations and an increased number of flu cases this year.

“Last year was an amazing flu season, we had almost had no cases of influenza at all. That was because all of us were still so very worried about COVID and we were using what is called COVID appropriate behavior. Avoiding crowds, wearing masks when we were indoors and in crowded situations,” Mayo Clinic infectious diseases expert Dr. Priya Sampathkumar said.

No more mask mandate has some health officials urging people to take extra precautions, starting with getting the flu shot.

“Everyone over the age of six months is eligible to get the flu vaccine. Children under the age of nine who have not previously been vaccinated needs two doses. Everyone else needs just one dose,” Sampathkumar explained

Mayo Clinic officials believe that just because there is not mandate that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t stop wearing masks.

“If we add masks to influenza vaccination, I think it would definitely further reduce influenza illness in community settings and health care settings,” Sampathkumar stated.

Some local health experts agree to that notion.

“We are encouraging people to wear your masks when you are indoors around others. Staying home when you are sick is a big one,” Mankato Clinic Family Nurse Practitioner Nicole Fischbach said.

Mankato Clinic staff members are preparing as best as they can for the fast approaching flu season.

“Anywhere from October to as late as April sometimes. So, we are starting to offer flu vaccines now. In hopes to get ahead of the curve and prevent people from getting the virus and from spreading influenza,” Fischbach explained.

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