It is important to get both the flu shot and the Covid-19 vaccine, especially if one is at risk of severe Covid-19 or flu infection, according to medical experts. COVID and influenza or flu are both infectious respiratory diseases. COVID is caused by the coronavirus and flu is caused by 4 types of seasonal influenza viruses, types A, B, C and D that infect the nose, throat, sinuses, upper airways and lungs. It is mostly a mild disease in healthy children, young adults and middle-aged people. It is completely different from the common cold virus. In early 2022, there were reports of Flurona, which was said to be the combination of COVID and flu infection, a co-infection specifically. Branded as double trouble, flurona was first detected in two women in Israel. A person attacked by either flu or COVID-19 will have a persistent cough and experience a sore throat and runny or stuffy nose. Headaches and muscle aches are sometimes part of the package. Then there is the fatigue, which can get a little extreme if you are unlucky. Sometimes both diseases are accompanied by nausea and or vomiting. Hence, without proper testing it is impossible to find if a person is COVID infected or is having the flu. On whether a person can get COVID and flu at the same time, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says, yes it is possible. “Yes, it is possible to catch both diseases at the same time. The most effective way to prevent hospitalization and severe COVID-19 and influenza is vaccination with both vaccines”. “These vaccines should not be given at the same time. If a person has a choice, the Covid-19 vaccine should be taken first. The two vaccines should be given on opposite arms, and should be given between 14 and 28 days of each other ,that is at least two weeks apart,” General Practitioner, Dr Oteng Badisa shared in an interview recently. This, he said is to assist with monitoring if there is any reaction to either vaccine. “We must not delude ourselves,” Dr Badisa said. “The threat of an influenza pandemic has not diminished. The influenza vaccine will protect you against influenza and the Covid-19 vaccine will protect you against Covid-19. The flu shot provides protection for the strain of flu that is expected in each year’s flu season. It will not protect you against Covid-19. Only vaccines created for Covid-19 will be effective at protecting individuals from Covid-19,” he explained. As per the guidelines released by the WHO, both COVID and flu can be avoided by following few public and social measures including; maintaining physical distance of at least 1 metre, avoiding crowded area, keeping windows and doors open for proper ventilation covering face and nose while sneezing and coughing ,cleaning and sanitising hands frequently as well as getting vaccinated.
It’s the flu season; why you should get the flu shot
Wednesday, April 27, 2022