Flu doesn’t give corona pause

flu doesn't give corona pause

A raging fever, dry cough and severe headache – too severe for a normal cold. Up to now, with such symptoms, especially in the cold season, it was obvious that influenza, i.E. The real flu, was the culprit. In 2020, however, the coronavirus is still going around, which can manifest itself with very similar symptoms.

"It is not always possible, even for an expert, to distinguish between the two on the basis of the symptoms alone, says dr. Ullrich zuber, chairman of the coburg family doctors’ association with a practice in kaltenbrunn. "There are indeed these symptoms, which are already known through the media and can lead a layman to suspect covid-19. But the most sensible way is to have a consultation with the family doctor and to discuss the further procedure." Only a test swab can ultimately provide certainty.

Longer waiting times possible

In any case, at the moment it is imperative that you call the practice to make an appointment. Special infection consultations for people with symptoms minimize the risk for other patients. "These protective measures make a practice a safe place to be. No one has to be afraid of getting infected there." The time of full waiting rooms is over. "In the past, you sometimes went to the doctor and then went home cold again. That won’t be the case anymore."

On the other hand, this could also mean waiting a long time for an appointment. "But this is for the protection of everyone", says zuber.

The people most at risk from real influenza are basically the same people as with the coronavirus, for example patients with chronic illnesses and senior citizens. Mostly it is the lungs that can be damaged by influenza, he says. Dr. Ullrich zuber, however, does not consider it unlikely that the wave of flu and colds this winter will be less severe than usual: "we have developed a new hygiene awareness as a result of the corona pandemic. We have almost internalized the rules of distance and hygiene and wear our mouth-nose protection in many situations. This will definitely help to be immune to normal colds and influenza."

For the high-risk patients mentioned above, a flu shot is highly recommended to protect against influenza. "The general practitioner knows the patients best and knows where a vaccination is particularly necessary", says zuber. These people were also preferentially vaccinated, but according to the current prognosis, no shortage of vaccine is to be expected, says zuber. Even for vaccination an appointment is obligatory.

Active influenza vaccination also has an advantage when it comes to recognizing corona disease: "someone who has been vaccinated against influenza can already be told that it is probably covid if they have the right symptoms", says zuber.

Vaccine needs regulation

Meanwhile, the corona situation in family doctor’s offices is stable. Demand for voluntary testing for people without symptoms is limited. "There will happen in the test centers the gross inanspruchnahme. But at the moment it’s not like everything is falling apart."

This could be different if a vaccine against the coronavirus is available. "Then there will have to be rules about who gets vaccinated and when", says physician zuber.

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