Flu is still prevalent, much more likely to impact you than COVID-19 SRMC officials say

SIDNEY, NE – With much news surrounding COVID-19 lately, officials at Sidney Regional Medical Center want to remind people that the flu is much more likely to impact you.

Bob Kentner with SRMC was on KSID Radio Tuesday morning. He says fear of the unknown and sensationalizing of coronavirus on mainstream media channels has caused unnecessary panic.

“Everybody’s hearing the word pandemic,” Kentner said. “Pandemic does not mean panic.”

Kentner noted that COVID-19 does meet the World Health Organization’s definition of a pandemic. WHO’s definition has the following criteria: new disease, its contagious and has had a significant outbreak in two countries beside the source country.

“That doesn’t mean its out of control and it doesn’t mean we’re not working on it,” Kentner said.

Kentner said the overreaction is so bad in places that hospitals are having a hard time getting a hold of surgical masks because so many people are buying them.

SRMC also doesn’t want people to forget about the flu. A news release from the medical center says flu activity increased 26 percent for the week ending February 22.

According to the CDC, as of Friday, 14 people have died from COVID-19 while thousands have passed from the flu.

The best way to protect yourself from the flu is a flu shot.

Washing hands, avoiding contact with those who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when you are sick are some great ways to stop the spread of either disease.

If you have any questions about COVID-19 or the flu, your best resources are the CDC, WHO or your local healthcare provider.