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Could our efforts to slow coronavirus also slow our flu season?

We talked with a doctor at USF Health about whether we can expect a slower flu season this year. She's not optimistic.

TAMPA, Fla. — The CDC director says this could be "the worst fall from a public health perspective, we've ever had." That was in an interview with Web-MD.

He's worried about the upcoming flu season along with coronavirus, but other countries are having lower numbers of cases.

Countries in the southern hemisphere are reporting lower numbers of flu cases this year compared to previous years. 

Reports show in countries like Chile, Brazil and New Zealand, cases are down. 

We talked with Dr. Claudia Espinosa with USF Health about this. She says health experts are pointing to social distancing, hand hygiene and masks helping with the lower numbers in other countries. 

But is that something we'll see here?

"How it will impact the United States, it is still to be seen, right? Our season starts later; and here in Florida, we don't have that mark of the seasons, one to the other, we see more cases of flu obviously during the respiratory season."

Dr. Espinosa says one obstacle: the misconceptions and misinformation surrounding the flu vaccine. 

She says that's a reason she's not optimistic what's happening in other countries will happen here. But Dr. Espinosa says it's a reason more than ever to get vaccinated this flu season, especially for kids to be vaccinated. 

"Having a vaccine is better than not having any. The more vaccines we get, we vaccinate our kids, every single year and we vaccinate us, there is going to be some cross-reactivity of antibodies that are going to make probably a real infection, an active infection less strong, less bad than if you never vaccinated."

She says we don't want to have to treat kids with both diseases at the same time.

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