(WKBN) – Flu cases were down last year. It’s because more people were taking precautions like wearing masks.

Health experts say there could be an up tick in cases this year as more places are open and less people are wearing masks. Because the flu is a risk factor for heart issues, more people could be dealing with heart problems, too.

“We hope with the greater awareness of heart disease that we’re trying to communicate to our community, we hope that we can kind of offset that. That is something that we’re prepared for and on the lookout for,” said Dr. Shyam Bhakta, Associate Professor of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University.

Experts say it’s more common for people to deal with congestive heart problems and heart attacks during the winter months.