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Covid During Cold and Flu Season

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Alaska Public Health Nurse Lorne Carroll was asked about the effects of cold and flu on Covid 19 on Thursday’s Covid Brief with KBBI’s Jay Barrett.

Cold and flu season is here in Alaska, and health professionals aren’t quite sure what to expect. During the season last year, cases were well below historic averages because so many people isolated themselves due to Covid-19.

This year, according to the State Division of Epidemiology, cases have begun slowly, with most of the approximately 80 cases being reported in the Mat-Su Borough and Anchorage. One has been identified on the Kenai Peninsula.

Alaska Public Health Nurse Lorne Carroll was asked about the effects of cold and flu on Covid 19 on Thursday’s Covid Brief with KBBI’s Jay Barrett.

“Can seasonal cold and flu leave one more vulnerable to severe covid infection," Barrett asked. "If one were to get a covid infection does a cold and flu make it worse.”

“Oh, that's possible. You know things like what we call decreased lung compliance, or your lungs' ability to move air, and now when that decreases, or you're moving less air, then you’re more susceptible for things like pneumonia and other health threats like cold viruses and influenza," Carroll said. "And that's why we say if you do get Covid and you're okay to stay home and you're taking care of your signs and symptoms and separating from other folks, it's okay to rest, but as soon as you can, get up and start moving around, and that gets your lungs moving and that decreases your chance of getting other infections or complications from other respiratory infections.”

“Ah, okay. What about the other direction? If I have a respiratory infection, and then I recover, I guess should I be extra careful for a while afterwards?" Barrett asked.

“Yeah, you know in general, if someone gets an infection then all the variables known and unknown that made it possible for that person to get infection are still present, or most of them are, for the next potential health threat," Carroll said. "So the idea there, or a thought might be, just to continue looking at your resilience factors, or how you look at health or improving your own health and certainly that can help you in the future.”

There’ll be more Covid-19 updates at tonight’s Homer City Council meeting, broadcast live here on KBBI at 6 p.m.

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Jay Barrett, KBBI's new News Director should be a familiar voice to our listeners. He's been contributing to Kenai Peninsula news for the last three years out of KDLL Kenai, and was the voice of The Alaska Fisheries Report from KMXT for 12 years. Jay worked for KBBI about 20 years ago as the Central Peninsula Reporter at KDLL.