Houston’s Chief Medical Officer speaks on upcoming flu season and decline in COVID-19


HOUSTONTexas (KIAH) Chief Medical Officer for the City of Houston, Chief David Persse says amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Houstonians should get ahead of what could be a harsh flu season.

There wasn’t much talk about the flu season last year because the number of flu cases were low compared to the spike in COVID-19 cases. As for flu, cases were low because people were taking protective measures like washing their hands, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

So far, we haven’t seen many cases of the flu this year, but health care workers say cases typically pick up around late November.

However, Dr. Persse says the flu is one of the hardest viruses to predict. The flu is mainly passed through objects like door handles and keypads while COVID-19 is airborne.

As the seasons change, cooler weather comes, and we head into the holiday season, more people will gather. This is why people should go the extra mile to wear a mask, social distance, and practice cleanliness. Persse says that’s the best form of protection.

“I didn’t get a cold at all. Nor did I get the flu. Now I get the flu shot. I got vaccinated but I didn’t get the flu. And I think that’s because so many of us were being so protective and slowing down the viruses. Even the regular viruses as we were trying to fight COVID,” said Persse.

Persse says the rise in COVID cases comes and goes in 2 to 3-month waves. 

Right now, positivity rates and hospitalizations for adults are coming down. For children, cases are steady at this moment. There isn’t much of a rise or fall in the numbers of confirmed cases.

Doctors say even though there is no official start date for flu season, they recommend getting vaccinated a lot sooner. The COVID-19 and flu vaccine are two different shots; however, both can be administered at the same time.

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