This flu season has many health experts in Athens and around the nation concerned about a possible ‘twindemic’ of people possibly getting both the flu and COVID-19 this year. Dr. Thomas Wells is an internal medicine specialist at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital.
“We have the concern about flu and COVID actively circulating in the community, people can be co-effected.”
Officials say the flu usually peaks between December and February, but it can last into May.
Both illnesses have similar symptoms but need different treatment.
Fever, fever chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, the muscle pain, body aches, headaches, are all common symptoms to both that makes it difficult to tell the difference between the two, initially. One of the things that’s specific to COVID-19 is that loss of taste and smell.”
Wells says preventative measures are key for both the flu and coronavirus.
“The CDC estimates that getting the flu vaccine decreases the risk of the flu illness by 50 to 60 percent in the overall population during that season when the flu virus is circulating, especially when it’s a well-matched flu vaccine. Other prevention measures are really the same. The three w’s that people talk about are wearing a mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance.”
For more information about flu vs. COVID-19, visit piedmont.org.