DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The President of the Dallas County Medical Society, Dr. Mark Casanova said Monday, “It’s never too early to prepare for flu season and especially when you have a current COVID-19 pandemic in the works.”
Dr. Casanova said the pending arrival of flu season this fall and the coronavirus pandemic may keep many doctors from sleeping much.
“A concurrent infection with both influenza, the seasonal flu, and COVID-19 has the possibility to be extraordinarily detrimental, in other words deadly,” he said.
He and other doctors strongly recommend people who are low-risk for getting the flu to get the vaccine.
Dr. Nicholas Rister, an infectious diseases specialist at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth said, “The biggest thing is this year more than ever, I think getting the flu shot and making sure patients know how and where to get is important because along with the covid 19 pandemic, we don’t want to add more than we need to with the normal seasonal flu.”
Dr. Rister said symptoms for flu and COVID-19 are similar, but the viruses have different impacts on children.
“If a child got the flu or got COVID, same child, COVID would be more likely to be a more severe disease, although we haven’t seen what the flu is going to be like this year. But COVID is unique because it seems like they don’t get as sick as the adults do. We don’t see that with the flu, you know, kids get can get very sick with the flu.”
Both doctors said they are hoping the same precautions people are taking to prevent getting COVID-19, wearing masks, social distancing, and hand-washing, will also decrease the number of flu cases they see this year.
Dr. Casanova said doctors want to reduce the number of people being hospitalized for the coronavirus now, in case there’s a larger than normal number of flu cases.
“If we can dampen down these numbers and give us some breathing room, that will allow us to more effectively handle our normal seasonal influenza surge,” he said.