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Deaconess Prepping for Flu and COVID-19 Collision

A perfect storm -- this is what health officials say could happen as the global pandemic and the upcoming flu season collide. And Deaconess doctors are already hard at work coming up with solutions to help with the confusion by working on a way to test for both viruses at once.

Posted: Aug 25, 2020 9:09 PM
Updated: Aug 26, 2020 12:07 AM

“Do I have COVID-19 or do I have the flu,” this is a question many people may be asking themselves as the flu season looms around the corner.

And health officials are already preparing for the increased workload that comes with handling viruses with similar symptoms.

"Whether it's fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sinus congestion, fatigue, I mean some of these broad symptoms can present as the flu,” said Dr. Brad Scheu, with Deaconess Internal Medicine. “As we learn more and more about COVID, we learn that these two viruses present more similar than different."

One thing people won’t have to worry about is getting both a shot and a nasal swab.

"We really expect that any patient that presents with symptoms of flu or COVID will most likely need both tests,” Dr. Scheu said. “And we're working towards a process where we will have both tests available on the same swab."

While the flu vaccine doesn’t prevent someone from getting COVID-19, doctors encourage people to take every precaution necessary to keep themselves and the public safe.

"And we hope that by getting the word out by to get your flu vaccine and take these measures as far as distancing and wearing a mask, we can continue to mitigate the spread throughout our community,” Dr. Scheu said.

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