The COVID-19 pandemic has been overwhelming for many and as flu season approaches, it can be even scarier. Their findings-published September 8 in JAMA Network Open-surprised them. "I am going to get it myself and I think you should too", says Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious diseases physician at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Ont.
"The U.S.is facing the most challenging health crisis in a century and is about to enter flu season, which has the potential to put additional strain on our healthcare system and cost lives", said Brian Caveney, LabCorp Diagnostics' president and chief medical officer.
"We won't be able to distinguish immediately between whether somebody has flu or whether somebody has Covid", WHO's Van Kerkhove said.
In fact, the main clinical differences they found between patients of the two diseases were symptomatic.More news: Apple seeks damages from Fortnite maker in App Store dispute
315 children were diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 25 and May 15 (just under 2 months). Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and COVID-19, are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
"Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves were built to probe olfactory and gustatory scores in terms of their discrimination between COVID-19 and AC patients".
Intensive care unit (ICU) admission rates were also comparable.
Among the 1,402 patients who tested positive for influenza A or B, 52% were male, with a median age of 3.9 years, and 291 (21.2%) were hospitalized, including 143 for influenza A and 148 for influenza B. Ninety-eight patients (7.0%) were admitted to the ICU, and 27 (1.9%) received mechanical ventilator support. The fear of a "twindemic" - a spike in COVID-19 cases and a bad flu season - is prompting some state officials to at least consider requiring the influenza vaccine for kids in school. Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had a median age of 9.7 years vs. those hospitalized with seasonal influenza who had a median age of 4.2 years.More news: Jelly Belly is Giving Away a Candy Factory Willie Wonka Style
But as children head back to school amid anticipation that both viruses will start circulating more actively, parents need to be on the lookout for symptoms of either infection.
Song and colleagues also found that influenza hospitalizations declined steeply in the spring - only one case between March 22 and June 6 - presumably due to stay-at-home orders and school closures, the authors noted, although flu activity would normally drop off anyway during this period. "We know that COVID is also involved so we want to keep people as healthy as possible", says Chakrabarti.
Dr. Song urges members of the community "first and foremost to stay calm and be strong".
"Until we have more data". Six percent of pediatric COVID-19 patients and seven percent of flu patients had to be moved to the critical care wards.More news: Sushant Singh Rajput death: Rhea Chakraborty arrested by NCB
In normal times, there's not a good reason for the vast majority of people to not get the flu shot.