TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - There is growing concern across Arizona as influenza season approaches, and many are worried about the effects the flu virus will have with COVID-19 around.
The Arizona Department of Health Services says that while there’s no certain way to predict what will happen when flu season hits, it’s very likely that flu viruses will spread along with the COVID-19 virus.
Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but the Health Departments says they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths.
Getting a flu vaccine will also potentially help conserve scarce medical resources for the care of people with COVID-19.
AZDHS has sent out tips to healthcare facilities across Arizona on what they should do when flu season finally hits.
Healthcare providers should:
- Administer influenza vaccine to everyone 6 months of age and older.
- Make sure to immunize people at high-risk for influenza complications- including pregnant women, people with immuno-deficiencies and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease.
- Immunize now, and through the entire flu season, even into the new year and spring.
Because some flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them if you become infected- and testing sites may be needed to clarify a diagnosis.
To learn more about some of the key differences between these viruses, follow the links below.
To learn more about COVID-19, click [HERE].
To learn more about the influenza virus, click [HERE].