Just because you have a fever, aches, a runny nose or a headache doesn’t mean you have Covid. Although that disease is front and center in most people’s minds today, we need to not forget about other things. I say this because someone I know recently went to Urgent Care with all those symptoms but her initial Covid rapid test was negative. Given that, I was surprised that they did not test her for the flu. It’s a simple swab, just like the Covid swab. She had classic symptoms. High fever (102), muscle and joint aches and a headache
It may be early fall, but it is not too soon to think about the flu, nor is it too soon to remember to get vaccinated for the flu. EVERYONE should get a flu shot this year. We had significantly less influenza last year because of all the isolation, masking and hand sanitizing, but it is very likely to come back with a vengeance this fall and winter. Imagine getting both the flu and Covid simultaneously!
Because of the pandemic measures, we also saw a lot less RSV, respiratory syncytial virus, which typically affects kids in the winter. But we had an outbreak in the summer, when things really opened up. As an ENT, I also saw a lot less tonsillitis, tonsil abscesses, mono I and even sinus infections last winter and spring, all of which also shot up in the summer.
Although it makes sense to test for Covid often and repeatedly, we can’t forget all the other things out there.
What the drop off in all the typical seasonal infections proves is that masking, distancing and basic hygiene practices are all very effective measures at controlling the spread of communicable diseases, including Covid.
So please get tested if you have symptoms or are you’re concerned about a suspicious or known positive contact but continue to also do all the basics:
VACCINATE. Not just for Covid, but for the FLU and, if over 50, get the SHINGLES shot also! If over 65, also consider getting the PNEUMOVAX against pneumococcal pneumonia.
MASK UP. It DOES make a difference for many reasons. Of course the quality of the mask matters, but it’s not just about protecting you and everyone else. It is also about reminding everyone that there is still a serious pandemic going on out there. It’s a visual reminder that we are still grappling with this disease actively.
DISTANCE and VENTILATE.
HYGIENE. Wash your hands. Sanitize when needed. Sneeze into your sleeve. If you’re sick, stay home, Covid or not…. Don’t endanger anyone else.
Have a great weekend.
Stay safe and be well.