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Laurie Folano, the deputy state epidemiologist for the Virginia Department of Health, said at this point she has “no reason to think” this coming season will be as difficult as the last one, but acknowledged that predictions could change.

“Last year, it was a slightly earlier peak and a quick peak, but I wouldn’t say it was completely abnormal,” she said. “I’d say in general to be prepared for a typical flu season we hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”