ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Flu season is here and health officials are more concerned now compared to last year. Most of the country was still on lockdown last year and many businesses were not fully opened.
With restrictions being lifted in most states, healthcare workers in the Roanoke Valley are worried that many people will let their guard down when it comes to following protocols and getting vaccinated.
Nurse manager Mary Kate Bowser of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts shared what this season could look like.
“There’s the risk to get infected with flu and COVID at the same time,” said Bowser, talking about the potential sickness. “They could potentiate one another and you could be a lot sicker than you would if you just had the flu and vice versa.”
Primary Care Chief Nurse Michael Rubensky of Salem VA Health System says that the combination of both viruses could be deadly.
“That would be something that I’m not sure anyone would want to experience. The flu in itself can be a very deadly disease, especially if you have underlying conditions, and then adding COVID on top of it,” said Rubensky. “You see everyday the effects of COVID in the media.”
To prevent the spread of either virus, officials are encouraging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot to prevent a spread. Under CDC guidelines, you are able to get both shots at the same time but on different parts of your body.
For breaking news delivered to you, subscribe to WFXR’s breaking news email list
Get breaking news, weather, and sports delivered to your smartphone with the WFXR News app available on Apple and Android.