As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States, physicians are issuing a reminder about flu season. They want to make sure people are taking the right step to protect themselves.
“We see people traveling more and getting into larger groups and more congregated settings, and so we expect the cases of respiratory infections and influenza will rise,” said Dr. Neha Vyas, a family medicine physician for Cleveland Clinic.
Vyas recommends wearing a mask while out in public, social distancing when possible and regularly washing your hands.
It’s also important to disinfect any high-touch surfaces in your home. For example, door knobs, light switches and countertops.
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Vyas said while it can’t prevent influenza entirely, it can help reduce the severity of symptoms and length of recovery.
“Especially now that our hospitals and emergency rooms are overwhelmed with COVID, you want to try to manage your symptoms as much as you can in the comfort of your own home,” she said. “If your symptoms are not severe, then you should be able to do that at home rather than going to an emergency care facility.”
Since COVID-19 and flu symptoms are so similar, additional testing may be required to know which virus you have. However, Vyas said a key difference is a person with COVID-19 may be more likely to lose their sense of taste or smell.