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Health officials warn a COVID-19 surge on top of a severe flu season could strain hospitals

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- State health officials are now urging Coloradans to prepare for a dangerous combination of COVID-19 on top of a severe flu season this fall.

As they worry the compounding factors could fill up hospital beds here in the city, they're calling on high-risk Coloradans to get the new Omicron booster shot immediately.

"If you're in that high-risk group, you want to get tested early and you want to make sure that you're vaccinated to be ready to withstand the winter," said Dr. Michael Roshon, Emergency Physician at Penrose-St. Francis Hospitals.

Looking at the two health threats, officials say Coloradans should get their flu shots like they do every year. But this year specifically, they're also asking those who get sick to think critically about what their symptoms might be telling them.

"We want to know early, is this COVID or is this influenza?" said Roshon. "Because we have treatments for both of them, but it's different. So in both of them, the treatment only works if you deliver it early."

Roshon says flu season has already started, much earlier than years prior and to a more severe degree. In order to address the issues as they arise, they need Coloradans to take tests to determine how they should respond to their illnesses.

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Annabelle Childers

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