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Taking the necessary precautions during flu season

Published: Nov. 7, 2020 at 4:58 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - While the United States continues to battle COVID-19, health officials want to remind everyone that flu season is upon us.

As the coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S., flu season is here, and health officials say it’s more important than ever to be prepared.

“We definitely want people to get the flu vaccine this year to better protect themselves for everyone, but especially, in our high risk population. The very young, the very old.”

While the peak months for flu season aren’t here just yet, Dr. Christian Leblanc says they begin preparing for flu season in October.

“We’re testing for it with everything, but we’re not seeing a lot of cases just yet. Expecting test to start increasing as we get to the peak colder months of December, January, and February.”

Southwest Louisiana isn’t seeing many flu cases right now. And Dr. Leblanc says there’s a possibility the low cases could be connected to the precautions people are taking due to COVID-19.

“We’ve increased with the pandemic our social distancing and mask wearing, which does prevent some spread of droplets, which is the main mechanism of spread for the flu as well as COVID-19. So, it’ll be interesting, looking back, in the coming months if that was a determining factor as the reduction of flu cases.”

Regardless of the low numbers, health officials say the best way to protect yourself from the virus is to get a vaccine.

“A lot of apprehension is out there about the flu vaccine, because people are afraid it will give them the flu. It will certainly not give anyone the flu, the most likely side effect from the flu vaccine is most likely a sore arm.”

He also encourages people to continue to social distance, wash their hands and monitor any symptoms.

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