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FOX43 Family First: Doctors Wait for Answers on How the Influenza Season Interacts with the COVID-19 Pandemic



Many doctors are still unaware of some of the most frequently asked questions about the effects of the flu season on coronaviruses and vice versa.

As the flu season approaches, doctors have far more questions than answers about how flu interacts and how it adapts and adapts to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. I admit.

Doctors like Patrick Gabigan, a pediatrician at Penn State Milton Hershey Medical Center, admit that they are confused. Influenza virus strains change each year, causing unpredictable falls, just as health professionals are learning new things seemingly every day about the new coronavirus.

“There is optimism that the flu season will not be so severe, as people are already striving for these social distances, wearing masks and alleviating illness,” Dr. Gavigan said. “We know that children get sick. There is no way to distinguish it based on symptoms, and it will be a major obstacle and difficulty for the provider.”

Gavigan acknowledges that the inability to distinguish between influenza and COVID-19 is a major problem. He says doctors will “learn on the spot” to predict what will happen.

“Probably the biggest clue or giveaway is when you’re in close contact with one of them (the virus),” said Dr. Gavigan. “This is the easiest way to tell if this is a COVID-19 or flu person without testing.”

Doctors are also completely unsure if they can get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Gavigan says it is possible given that health professionals are seeing co-infection of influenza with other respiratory viruses and common cold illnesses, but outbreaks in COVID-19 and the United States. The answer is unknown when it comes to influenza.

Dr. Gavigan also doesn’t think that flu vaccination will help people get COVID-19, but that’s not a reason to avoid annual flu shots, he said. say. The flu vaccine is not 100% effective in preventing the flu, but Gavigan says that if you get it, it will make it a much milder illness.

“For those who get the flu vaccine, there are significant benefits to reducing flu hospitalizations,” said Dr. Gavigan. “There is a great concern if there is another spike (of COVID-19) that will run into the problem of overwhelming the hospital system.”

Doctors want to keep a social distance from the mask to control the spread of COVID-19 after seeing the flu vaccine by the end of October this year.

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