November 6, 2020

Managing Flu Season During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Flu season is officially upon us, and so is the coronavirus.

New to the Midtown Medical Group, but no stranger to treating patients for the seasonal flu with 35 years of experience, David Soo, MD, says because both conditions present similarly at the onset, it may be difficult for someone to tell the difference without receiving a test.

“It will be imperative for the medical community to provide both flu and COVID-19 testing, especially as we enter the colder months,” said Soo.

While the flu and coronavirus have similar symptoms, people with COVID-19 may find it progressively difficult to breathe and lose their sense of taste and/smell. Also, COVID-19 is much more deadly than the flu and twice as contagious. It’s important to note that medications used to treat flu are not effective in treating the coronavirus.

“Regardless of the reason, people who have typical flu symptoms should get tested for both COVID-19 and the flu,” said Soo. “If someone has been treated for the flu and is not improving within three to five days, they need to be tested for COVID-19 as well.” 

It’s not out of the realm of possibility for individuals to come down with both, which is why it’s essential to continue with vigilant hand hygiene, social distancing, and mask-wearing as we progress through flu season.

To protect yourself against the flu, Soo strongly encourages individuals to receive a flu shot. The flu vaccine is 40 to 60% effective in warding off influenza depending upon the type of strain prevalent this year. Flu shots are particularly important for those at high risk for severe illness, notably those 65 or older. 

If you’re feeling under the weather and suspect you either have the flu or COVID-19, Midtown Medical Group, conveniently located in the Art Institute of Houston building off the Southwest Freeway, has both in-person and telemedicine appointments available. If you’re experiencing issues with breathing, Soo says to seek emergency care as soon as possible.

“We need to continue being vigilant about mitigating the spread of the coronavirus this fall and winter, as we manage the seasonal flu,” said Soo. “Taking the necessary precautions and getting the flu shot are the best lines of defense.”

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Soo by visiting: