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Local health officials predict milder flu season thanks to COVID-19 restrictions

‘...We hopefully will not have as much trouble with influenza this year as we’ve had in years past’

ROANOKE, Va. – Local health department leaders are thinking ahead to what could happen with COVID-19 this fall.

The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts communicable disease team gave an update on the virus in our area Tuesday. Experts said continuing efforts to slow the spread could help with more than just the coronavirus.

“I’m hoping with the mitigation efforts that were using for COVID plus the fact that we have an influenza vaccine, that we hopefully will not have as much trouble with influenza this year as we’ve had in years past,” Dr. Thomas Kerkering said.

Kerkering said they’re also keeping a close eye on the uptick in coronavirus cases on college campuses, with the average age of people diagnosed continuing to trend younger.

“This was not to be unexpected that we would see a surge in the number of cases as colleges and universities are opening back up. What we’re seeing in this region is what is being seen throughout the United States,” Kerkering said.

Kerkering said they anticipate a rise in cases with students back in school.


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