TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - As COVID-19 cases rise around The Wabash Valley, local health experts say there may be more than just COVID concerns this year.
As the warmer months wind down health experts say this is when they see more people getting sick.
With COVID-19 being a large concern, many people have not focused on the return of flu season, according to the Vigo County Health Department.
Last year flu cases were down dramatically, but local health experts say, that probably will not be the case this year.
Flu season is almost upon us and experts say things are not looking good.
"Last year we had a very mild flu season, but they're predicting that we have a severe flu season this year," said Vigo County health educator Roni Elder.
The CDC says flu cases were down 98% in 2020.
Elder says it's the COVID-19 protocol that helped knock those cases down so much.
"We're kind of lenient with masking and social distancing, so, which really helped us not have a bunch of flu last year," said Elder.
Because of this decrease in cases, Elder says it's easy to overlook the flu.
"I think a lot of people almost kind of forgot about it because it wasn't a big deal last year," said Elder.
With flu cases expected to rise, there are some things you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick.
Some of these steps may sound familiar to you.
"What we've been doing with covid is basically, what we should be doing the whole flu season. So, washing our hands, wiping things down frequently, hopefully, those are things we can carry with us every flu season," said Elder.
With the flu expected to make a comeback, Elder says more problems could be on the horizon.
With a bad flu season and COVID-19 cases rising, Elder is worried things could get out of hand.
"The concern comes from that we don't want to overrun our hospitals. So we think right now our hospitals are getting pretty full with covid patients, then we add another illness onto that with flu, what are our hospitals gonna do,?" said Elder.
Along with the steps, Elder outlined she also said getting your annual flu vaccine could help you stay healthy in the coming months.