Cottage Hospital: flu season starts earlier this year

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Doctors at Cottage Hospital said they don’t usually see many flu cases this time of year.

Dr Tony Cotner said it’s not 100% clear why this year’s flu season started early.

“But the disease tends to travel around the world,” Cotner said.

The hospital is preparing for flu season based on what they are seeing in East Asia.

Cotner said the flu vaccine is based on strains currently active there.

And because the disease is spreading early there, he says doctors are also seeing it happening earlier here in the United States.

“It’s not a fun disease to have, and while people are still talking about COVID, the flu can also be a deadly disease,” Cotner said.

Cottage Hospital currently receives school-aged children.

“It’s not uncommon,” Cotner said. “But as it enters the community, it’s going to affect the most sensitive people.”

The flu vaccine is available throughout Santa Barbara County,

Here in Santa Barbara, patients at the Sansum Clinic can get information on planning flu shots at flushots.sansumclinic.org.

Kim Hurley, Registered Nurse, Director of Operations at the Sansum Clinic, will share how the clinic’s weekly drive-through visits unfold.

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