Posted 12 Oct 2020 11:19 AM




October 12, 2020

Influenza (Seasonal flu) and COVID-19, are both contagious respiratory illnesses, affecting lungs and can be spread from one infected person to others. Although the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can look similar, the two illnesses are caused by different viruses.

Both illnesses can cause fever, cough, body aches and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea (especially in children). Both can be mild, severe or even fatal in rare cases. There is no cure for either of them except for supportive management.

Unlike COVID-19, a vaccine is available for seasonal flu and is effective in preventing some of the most dangerous types or to reduce the severity or duration of the flu. There is no evidence as on date that having a flu vaccine can prevent coronavirus infection causing COVID-19 disease. However, there is reliable evidence that COVID-19 patients who had the flu vaccine recovered better than those who had not.

Although everyone is prone to get flu, but the risk of contracting flu is higher in those who have co-morbidities and especially among following:

- School children and college students.
- Office staff who deal in public services
- Hotel/Hospital staff and industrial workers.
- Those traveling frequently by public transport.

There is no reason to worry about seasonal flu but we need to be prepared in view of the fact that co-infection of both can be a serious matter to the individual, administration as well as our health care infrastructure. Therefore, it makes sense that we should responsibly continue wearing masks, practice social distancing, frequently wash hands and try to work from home to lessen the risk of contracting COVID-19 as well as seasonal flu.

In India, following three brands of flu vaccine having latest strains are available for use:

- INFLUVAC Quadrivalent 2020/2021 (Abbott)
- FLUARIX Quadrivalent 2020/2021 (GSK)
- FLUZONE Quadrivalent 2020/2021 (Sanofi)

Prepared by: Sandeep Dogra

Leave a comment: (Your email will not be published)