Doctors say coronavirus safety precautions may help slow flu outbreaks
ROANOKE, Va. – In their most recent reporting, the Virginia Department of Health is not showing any influenza activity across the Commonwealth. Last year at this time there was widespread activity in the state, and doctors are crediting the slow spread to coronavirus safeguards. Dr. Baffoe-Bonnie says symptoms are similar between the two with some people experiencing no symptoms at all while infected with COVID-19. However, the things many Americans have grown accustomed to thanks to the coronavirus pandemic are also helping slow the spread: handwashing, social distancing and mask-wearing. “At this point, vaccine uptake for influenza vaccine has been higher than in typical years,” stated Dr. Cynthia Morrow, Roanoke City & Allegheny Health District.
Will there be a definitive conclusion to this pandemic? Here’s how the Spanish flu ended
Here are some key highlights of how the Spanish flu ultimately ended, and how it might correlate to the COVID-19 pandemic. History says the Spanish flu lasted from February 1918 until April 1920, but there wasn’t a definitive statement that the pandemic was over, according to Time. Of course, by then, the Spanish flu did unspeakable damage, infecting 500 million people and killing 50 million. With technology and research being nowhere close to what it is now, there was no waiting around for a vaccine to help quell the Spanish flu. That might have been the case with the Spanish flu, as people’s tolerance to the disease and willingness to social distance, wash hands and wear masks throughout increased.
Free flu shots for Bedford County families
BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – The Bedford County Health Department is offering flu shots to families. Vaccines are free for families with Medicaid and private insurance. Bedford County Public Schools posted about the event on Facebook:"FLU VACCINES FOR FAMILIESTo serve families, the Bedford County Health Department has decided to suspend normal operations on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, to offerflu vaccines for families. Families are encouraged to complete a permission form in advance to expedite the process when arriving at the Health Department. Anyone with questions can contact the Health Department at 540-586-7952.
Franklin County leaders provide COVID-19 update
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va – Franklin County leaders are urging the community to help keep its coronavirus numbers low as flu season arrives. On Tuesday, the county hosted a roundtable discussion with officials from the Virginia Department of Health. Nancy Bell with the West Piedmont Health District said Franklin County has been doing a great job of keeping COVID-19 cases low but warned that as flu season approaches, people need to stay vigilant to prevent a spike in cases or community spread. Franklin County has had 280 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March. The county also announced it is hosting several free clinics for people to get their flu shots this year.
When and where to get a free flu shot in Roanoke
ROANOKE, Va. – Ahead of the start of flu season, Carilion is offering free flu vaccines for those 18 and older. Carilion has partnered with both the Roanoke Public Libraries and the Redevelopment and Housing Authority to offer 14 free flu vaccine clinics in the upcoming weeks. Pre-registration is encouraged and can be done online or by contacting Carilion Direct at (540) 266-6000 or Toll-Free (800) 422-8482.
Flu season and COVID-19 could pack dangerous punch for community
ROANOKE, Va. Healthcare workers are on high alert to see what happens with the coronavirus pandemic this fall, especially with flu season right around the corner. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during the 2019-2020 flu season, there were up to 56 million flu cases, 740,000 hospitalizations and 62,000 deaths. Aaron Perry, who lives in Roanoke, said he probably wont get the flu shot this year. He said that the number of flu cases were greatly decreased in the Southern Hemisphere, which is just wrapping up its flu season. Nevertheless, he said the flu shot will still decrease the severity of symptoms and reduce the chance of hospitalization.
It’s not too late: Get your flu shot
ROANOKE, Va. – If you haven’t gotten your flu shot this season, doctors say it’s not too late. As of Monday, Carilion doctors had seen around 2,000 cases of the flu. There have been more cases on influenza B than influenza A, but doctors don’t know why. “It is thought that influenza B affects children more severely. There have been, in the U.S., as far as I can remember, 68 deaths in pediatric populations," Carilion Infection Control Director Dr. Anthony Baffoe-Bonnie said.
Custodial staff disinfects while Bath County schools are closed due to sickness
BATH COUNTY, Va. – Custodians were spraying, wiping and mopping in Bath County Public Schools on Tuesday. A number of students and staff are sick, which creates the possibility of staffing issues. Bath County High School Principal, Dr. Michael Perry, is confident his school will be as clean as it can be. “We keep a very clean school anyway. When the number of reported illnesses in the district rose from 107 Friday to 187 Monday, Bath County Superintendent Sue Hirsh consulted with the regional health department.
Local hospitals implement restrictions as flu cases rise
ROANOKE, Va. – Seasonal influenza precautions were in place as of Monday at Sovah Health’s Danville and Martinsville campuses. If you are visiting the campuses, the hospital recommends the following:Please limit the number of visitors to three (3) per patient, unless otherwise specified. Centra Lynchburg General Hospital also announced restrictions on visitation during flu season. Monday afternoon, flu recommendations were being finalized for Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, according to a hospital spokesperson. According to the Virginia Department of Health, as of Dec. 28, the flu was widespread in Virginia.