SULLIVAN’S ISLAND (WCBD) – Flu season is upon us and with mask mandates and restrictions easing, doctors are expecting to see a high rate of cases — compounding the already increasing spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
“The reality is they are very similar and for us the diagnostic information of one versus the other is so difficult,” said Doctor Kenneth Perry who is a board member for the South Carolina College of Emergency Physicians.
“Now it seems to be this Delta variant looks far more almost like the flu,” in terms of symptoms, said Dr. Perry.
He says with the original strain of the Coronavirus people paid attention to their senses of taste and smell.
Now that there are new mutations, some of those symptoms have also changed.
“It’s 103 fevers and myalgias, so the reality is from here through the end of flu season it’s probably one or the other, both of which being something that you should not allow people around you to catch,” said Dr. Perry.
In 2019 34,000 adults and 136 died of the flu.
“We do see a lot of kids get sick with it and then if you know you had the flu vaccine your chances of getting the flu are very small and kids 6 months and up can get the flu vaccine,” said Doctor Kay Durst, who is a Family Medicine Physician who works for Roper St. Francis Healthcare.
She says the best way to protect yourself and your kids is to get vaccinated for the flu and COVID-19.
“It’s recommended now it’s FDA approved, so we do recommend that has shown that hospitalizations for the people that are really sick is mainly unvaccinated people,” said Dr. Durst and she gave some tips on what you should do if you start getting sick.
“Wear a mask when appropriate and also to wash your hands and just be aware of people that you’re around if they’ve been exposed to the virus,” said Dr. Durst.
Doctors are reminding patients before it’s too late that the only way to mitigate the outbreaks of the past is to get vaccinated first.
“From polio, through measles, mumps, you know, vaccinations are really the important things, so certainly make sure that we’re able to get out there and maybe this is hopefully the last time we have to talk about COVID and the flu in the same season,” said Dr. Perry.