Kansas City doctor predicts fewer flu cases this year due to coronavirus precautions

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Flu season is on approach in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, but a prominent local doctor is predicting fewer flu cases than average.

Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, executive dean at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, said precautions against the coronavirus may have a favorable affect against the flu as well. That’s because of the way the flu is transmitted.

“We know the flu is a droplet spread… it’s the large droplets that get on surfaces,” Dr. D’Agostino said.

He said the flu is mostly spread through hand-to-hand contact and by touching our face after touching infected surfaces. Although the coronavirus spreads through aerosols, or smaller droplets that float around the air, the pandemic has increased awareness around contact and healthy habits.

“I do think, with sanitizing the surfaces, with all the handwashing, with all of the recommendations to not touch our face and make sure we’re distancing physically from other people, I do think we’re going to see less flu this year,” D’Agostino said.

However, he said that’s no excuse not to get a flu shot.

“It is critical to get flu shots this year,” D’Agostino said. “The flu shot is proven to be safe… and there really is no age limit on this.”

He recommended everyone gets the shot sometime in September or October.

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