SALINAS — Native medical consultants are advising folks to get their flu shot now or they are going to be placing themselves and their households in danger for getting a double-whammy of very contagious and doubtlessly deadly respiratory sicknesses.
The heads of 4 Monterey County hospitals joined the Monterey County media briefing stay stream Wednesday to share key details about the 2020-2021 flu season and emphasize the significance of getting vaccinated this yr.
The flu is attributable to an infection with any of the actively circulating influenza viruses whereas COVID-19 is attributable to an infection with the brand new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat and runny nostril are all signs of each the flu and COVID-19, however the variations between the 2 are vital, stated Dr. Martha Blum, medical director of an infection prevention at Group Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
“Influenza has a really speedy onset,” stated Blum, and might trigger critical sickness in younger kids.
“Coronavirus tends to be a much more progressive, slowly-developing sickness” that doesn’t seem to trigger critical sickness in kids, Blum stated. The one method to know which virus is the perpetrator is to get examined, so Monterey County hospitals are ready with testing kits and remedy plans for each, stated Carla Spencer, a registered nurse within the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System.
COVID-19 is extra contagious and for an extended time frame than the flu and tends to trigger extra critical illness in some folks. There may be presently no vaccine for COVID-19 so one of the best ways to forestall an infection is to keep away from being uncovered. The excellent news is that there’s a vaccine for the flu, and it’s each protected and efficient.
“This yr is completely different than every other yr in historical past, with anticipated twin epidemics of a extreme respiratory sickness,” stated Dr. Sundeep Gupta, household medication doctor at Natividad Medical Group in a press launch. “In latest a long time, the flu shot has confirmed to be the simplest method to lower critical sickness. The vaccine is protected and doesn’t trigger the flu.”
Every year, the flu vaccine is up to date by the World Well being Group to guard in opposition to the three or 4 most dangerous flu strains which can be almost definitely to unfold. The ultimate choice is accredited by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention recommends that kids as younger as 6 months outdated to adults, together with the aged and pregnant ladies, get the flu vaccine as early as potential within the flu season. Right here on the Central Coast, the flu season usually begins across the finish of October and lasts by means of April, stated Blum.
Nationwide, COVID-19 instances are on the rise, and Monterey County isn’t any exception. Getting vaccinated in opposition to the flu will help hold hospital beds open for coronavirus sufferers who might have life-saving medical assist, stated Natividad Chief Medical Officer Dr. Craig Partitions. Whereas it’s unhealthy sufficient to be contaminated with one virus, being contaminated with a number of viruses may be a lot worse. “If extra folks get the flu shot and proceed to observe COVID-19 precautions, it’s extra probably our well being care techniques received’t be overwhelmed,” stated Partitions in a press launch.
“One of the best factor everybody can do proper now’s to get a flu shot and proceed to observe professional recommendation about stopping COVID-19: put on a masks and keep 6 ft away from others whenever you’re in public or round folks from exterior your family. Additionally, make sure you wash your palms for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with no less than 60% alcohol typically – particularly earlier than consuming, and don’t contact your eyes, nostril and mouth except you’ve simply washed your palms,” Partitions stated in a press launch. “Avoiding the flu and COVID-19 this winter will assist hold you and your loved ones wholesome — and out of quarantine.”
Data on dates and places of Monterey County flu clinics may be discovered on the county (https://bit.ly/3klulqG). A video of the complete media information briefing may be discovered on Monterey County’s YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/31s5WIQ)