Doctors are very concerned that the upcoming flu season could lead to a setback in efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic – CBS Philly
Philadelphia (CBS) – Flu season is fast approaching as cases of the delta variant COVID-19 continue to rise. Many doctors fear that this flu season will set back epidemic containment efforts.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a flu shot by the end of October, so they say it’s time to get vaccinated to protect yourself this season.
Doctors anticipate a difficult flu season ahead. They are expecting more flu cases than usual.
“Basically, we haven’t had influenza circulating in this country in over a year, which means we don’t have any built-up immunity in our population to influenza,” Gemma Downham, the company’s director of patient safety and infection prevention at AtlantiCare, said.
Mix the flu cases with the COVID cases and this is a cause for concern as hospitals fear that their resources may run out significantly.
“We are very concerned about the potential for patients to have influenza and need hospitalization as well as a fourth wave of the COVID pandemic,” Downham said.
Symptoms of COVID and flu are very similar, and while testing can help tell the difference, one key symptom sets them apart.
“With COVID, there is a loss of the sense of taste or smell. This is not something you might get with the flu, but a lot of the symptoms can be the same,” Downham said.
To protect yourself from both, Downham says it’s safe to get both vaccines at that time.
“The COVID booster vaccine or any type of vaccine and influenza vaccine can be given at the same time. Neither vaccine contains live virus.
If you are concerned about side effects, you can space your shots apart. Meanwhile, Downham is squashing the biggest rumor ever.
“There’s no live virus in these vaccines, so you can’t get COVID from the COVID vaccine and you can’t get the flu from the flu shot. You might have mild side effects, but your immune system kicks in and you know you’re protected,” Downham said.
Doctors remind parents to give their children the flu shot. This will help stop the spread of the disease in schools.