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How flu shots can help in the fight against Covid-19



Since we already know that the antibodies that people develop as a result of a coronavirus infection appear to decrease over time, there is a good chance that any coronavirus vaccine will need to be given repeatedly, perhaps every year, to provide adequate protection. Unlike the flu, Covid-19 showed no evidence of having a season. Whether the weather is hot, cold, dry or humid, this coronavirus is highly contagious. But like the flu, it readily spreads from person to person and can be passed on even before infected people know they are contagious, as well as by those who are infected and not noticeably sick.

Another noteworthy fact: the flu shot it does not and cannot cause the flu. Some people may have a febrile reaction to a flu shot, but that could partly represent the body’s effort to pick up an immune response. Or, as Dr. Osterholm pointed out, those who have the flu within days of immunization may actually have another respiratory bug or may have already been infected with the flu virus when they received the injection. Influenza viruses typically have an incubation period of one to four days before symptoms develop and it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become fully protective.

However, even if people get the flu after being properly immunized, the disease is likely to be significantly less severe. This could also be the case with a coronavirus vaccine.

Experts are currently very concerned about a likely confluence this winter of a flu epidemic and a still-violent Covid-19 pandemic, which could easily overwhelm the medical care system and create a shortage of hospital beds and devices again. of personal protection. Pneumonia is a not uncommon complication of the flu that could add to the burden of hospitalizations needed for people with a life-threatening coronavirus infection.

Experts are also concerned about people developing the flu and, thinking it could be Covid-19, seek medical attention and a test that could inadvertently expose them to this dreaded virus and cause a shortage of tests. Both disorders can produce similar symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath and fatigue which can be extreme.

Another troubling possibility is that people who have the flu may be even more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus and developing serious illnesses.

Even with an increased risk of Covid-19, complications from the flu can be serious. They include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and congestive heart failure. Others at greater risk for serious flu-related complications include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, and children under the age of 5.


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