Midstate hospitals could see potential overloading in the upcoming flu season

Health

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19.

Flu season is right around the corner and infectious disease experts are sending out a warning.

The numbers and statistics can seem alarming to many and CDC studies also say vaccines remain highly effective against hospitalizations and death.

“I can’t count or depend on other people to get their shots,” Joseph Konupka said.

Konupka says he plans on getting his flu shot and believes others should do their part too especially during an ongoing pandemic.

“So the fear is that we will have COVID cases going up at the same time we have flu cases going up,” UPMC Infectious Disease Dr. John Goldman said.

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Dr. Goldman says due to masking and social distancing last year we saw a mild flu season and hope for the same this year too.

However, unvaccinated COVID cases and Influenza can both strain the medical system leaving hospitals at risk of overloading, limited beds, and staff shortages if people don’t get their shots.

“We have seen an increase in cases but 85 to 90% of those cases are people who are unvaccinated so 85 to 90% of the people who are just in the hospital have not had a vaccine,” Dr. Goldman said.

Dr. Goldman says as we enter flu season, we are seeing a high number of COVID cases.

Those who are unvaccinated are urged to get their COVID vaccine, and just like the COVID vaccine, when you get your flu shot, you are also helping those around you.

“In fact, you should get the flu shot not only to protect yourself but protect your family members but especially if you have elderly family members at home to protect them,” Dr. Goldman said.

Which also include health care workers.

“We have a lot of friends in the healthcare industry and I trust their judgment I think they are going to make good calls about who to keep, who to send home I think we just have to trust them to use their training and do the best they can to take care of us,” Adam Lambs said.

“If everybody got their shot, I think they will feel a little safer in their work environment,” Konupka said.

Dr. Goldman also says UPMC staff are actively making plans to handle any potential surges which will prevent a shortage of supplies.

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