Wood: Flu Season In Midst Of COVID-19 Could Wreak Havoc

By Mark Evans

mevans@stegenherald.com

Ste. Genevieve County, like other areas, had better hope it generates fewer cases of the flu this year, Jeanette Wood warned.

The provisional director of the county health department expressed concern to the Ste. Genevieve County Commission last Thursday that traditional flu season this winter could make the COVID-19 situation that much worse.

She told the commissioners that fewer flu shots have been given this year, 609, compared to 781 at this time last year, although the schools and part of the sheriff’s department had not yet gotten shots.

Another dirve-through flu shot event will be held Oct. 30 at the health department.

“The more I read, the difference between the virus and the flu, the symptoms overlap,” Wood said. “You won’t know what you have unless you get tested and undoubtedly the CDC (Center for Disease Control) feels that it’s pretty important, too, because they have provided an additional 200,000 flu vaccines for the state of Missouri.”

She said the effectiveness of the vaccines varies from year to year, but that “something is better than nothing.”

“In a typical year there’s been 100,000 Missourians with the flu,” Wood said. “You add that to the COVID cases that Missouri has, you can imagine what that’s going to do to the hospital and the providers and everything.”

She said a pneumonia vaccine will be pushed in November. Individuals wanting this will have to go through their physician. This push is because many of the COVID-19 patients who become seriously ill with the virus have a tendency to develop pneumonia.

Wood reported that the county’s total number of cases since March had risen to 286, with 27 active and 13 probable cases. She said two new confirmed cases had been reported over the weekend.

Nelson asked whether some of the active cases reported a week earlier were still counted in the current number.

“There’s always overlapping cases,” Wood said. “Those 27 active cases, they may be coming off today.”

Wood also noted that more family members seem to be catching the virus when one member is infected.

“Whereas, before it was not unusual for just one family member to have it. That family member stayed isolated and none of the other family members were affected.”

Wood also praised the local schools for the jobs they have done, saying “kudos for the schools,” and adding that both R-II and Valle Catholic schools have “done a phenomenal job” in keeping their students safe while reopening.

SCHMIEDER REPORTS ON ROADS, EQUIPMENT

Scott Schmieder, road and bridge foreman, updated the commissioners on his crews’ ongoing and upcoming projects.

He said Bodine Road had been sealed and patched and that bad spots on Straughn Road had been fixed.

Nelson asked him if he would need more oil for additional crack sealing before winter hits. Schmieder replied that “It wouldn’t hurt,” nut added that the weather could change suddenly, ending the paving/patching season abruptly.

Schmieder  said the Dodge dually was back from being repaired. It had been an intake issue. One of the Freightliner dump trucks meanwhile, has had an issue with a bad air line to the air conditioner compressor.