BR health officials urge everyone to get a flu shot this year to avoid dealing with two viruses at once

Mayor, health officials encourage everyone to get flu shot this year to avoid dealing with two viruses at once

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Medical professionals on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic are urging families to get their flu shots this year as they continue to battle the coronavirus.

Doctors say they fear hospitals could get overwhelmed again as they deal with two viruses at the same time.

“When we vaccinate large populations of people for influenza, we reduce hospitalizations for influenza, as well as for heart attacks and strokes and diabetes,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

East Baton Rouge Mayor-President and various health officials held a press conference Wednesday, Sept. 30 encouraging people to get their flu shot. The full press conference can be watched below. The mayor released the following statement:

"Since March, the residents of East Baton Rouge Parish have made significant progress in our effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Our residents have seen significant increases in access to testing, decreasing positivity rates, and a continuous effort to re-open our economy.

Baton Rouge has put forth the effort to recover from a global pandemic, and as we move forward, we must continue to do our part to protect our neighbors, our friends, and our loved ones.

This fall and winter, it is imperative everyone in our community takes action to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses, like the flu. I ask all of our residents to be conscious of their actions and exercise caution this flu season. We can all take small, yet significant, steps to protect those around us. This includes: avoiding touching our faces, washing our hands frequently, covering sneezes and coughs, staying at home when sick, avoiding contact with sick people, wearing a mask, and receiving a flu shot.

Getting vaccinated for the flu will help protect our hospitals and clinics from becoming overwhelmed while our healthcare professionals are still fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

East Baton Rouge Parish residents can visit to find out where to receive a flu vaccine. Let’s continue to work together in our effort to keep our coworkers, our friends, and our families healthy."

FULL VIDEO: Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome holds news conference on flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.