Flu rates high in Virginia

Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 3:36 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With the holiday season underway, the American Nurses Association is encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against the flu.

The Virginia Department of Health reported “very high” flu levels in the commonwealth during the first week of November.

“We are seeing a higher-than-average number of flu cases compared to this time and in years past,” ANA President Doctor Ernest Grant said.

Dr. Grant says flu cases are higher because the country is opening up.

“We’re traveling more, we are not doing the things that we were doing a couple of years ago, such as wearing a mask, washing our hands, cleaning or sanitizing surfaces,” he said.

Dr. Grant says with no vaccination, you can contract multiple illnesses at the same time.

“We’re trying to avoid what we’re labeling a twin-demic or a tri-endemic. The twin-demic referring to an increase in flu-related cases, as well as an increase in COVID cases,” he said. “Then, a tri-demic is in reference to the increased number of RSV cases that we’re seeing in young children now.”

This can affect anyone, but certain people are more susceptible.

“Older people with pre-existing conditions that, you know, maybe if I already have asthma or COPD, diet, cardiovascular disease, especially individuals aged 65 and older people who may have cancer, or a suppressed immune system, they’re going to be at an increased risk,” the doctor said.

His message to protect yourself and loved ones this flu season is to get vaccinated.

“You can do your part to help minimize the spread by getting a vaccine. Vaccinated not only with the flu vaccine, but also the COVID booster, as well,” Dr. Grant said.

For information about this year’s flu season and vaccinations, here is the link.

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