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Doctors stress the importance of the flu shot this year with COVID-19 still spreading

Posted at 7:16 AM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 08:52:26-04

WACO, TX — It is possible to get COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, because of this doctors are stressing the importance of getting the flu shot.

If you haven't gotten a flu vaccine in the past, doctors want us to be aware that as COVID-19 still spreads, diagnosing the illness could be more difficult.

Dr. Gregory Newman with Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest says the doctors have been working on a plan to help patients that do come in for flu or COVID related symptoms.

"We don't know the exact effects that the flu has along with COVID. And we've seen a few cases in the summer where somebody's coming in with flu positive results and COVID positive results" Dr. Newman said.

They're also looking at the Southern Hemisphere to predict how our flu season might pan out.

"The flu season in the southern hemisphere, usually happens in our summer, so their winter, and we're actually seeing a little bit of decrease in the flu in those areas but it's still there," Dr. Newman said.

It is especially important to consider a flu shot this year in children as well. Schools are now making decisions on in-person or online learning.

With in-person learning, the risk for the flu could rise.

According to astudy by Quote Wizard, there is an elevated risk this year for teachers to contract the flu. They predict nearly 1.5 million will get it.

Also taking data from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Texas ranks 25th in the nation at 58% of children usually receiving a flu shot.

Hopefully, as we all continue to follow mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines we are not only mitigating the Covid-19 risk but the flu as well.

Washing your hands often and covering your cough and sneeze also plays a big factor in keeping the spread of both illnesses down.