SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Three respiratory viruses are circulating nationwide: the coronavirus, flu, and RSV.
Doctors from LSU Health Shreveport say one reason could be that for the past two years, many people have not been exposed to those viruses.
“And so, our immunity to those viruses has weaned,” Dr. John Vanchiere, the Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Clinical Research at LSUHS said.
However, the flu vaccine and new COVID Omicron booster shot can help with today’s current strains.
“It’s different from the previous vaccine that was based on the original virus that came almost two years or more than two years ago now. And so the bivalent has now been done specifically to the current strain,” Dr. Andrew Yurochko, the Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at LSUHS said.
Vanchiere added each year the flu vaccine “is formulated based on what strains that’s circulating in the southern hemisphere winter.”
“They need about nine months to prepare the vaccine once they’ve decided on a particular strain,” Vanchiere said.
With the holidays upon us, doctors recommend using the same COVID-19 mitigations: wash your hands, social distance, and mask up if you are not feeling well.
“Mask prevents you from spreading illness to other people, prevent other people from spreading other illness to you. And the data is very clear on that,” Vanchiere said. “So, if you want to reduce your own risk either from spreading or from contracting illness where a mask especially in high-risk environments.”
Anyone interested in getting vaccinated can do so at LSU Health’s drive-thru vaccine clinic at the Old Chevyland Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It is closed for the remainder of this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday,