By Marsha Mullings, MPH
7.4 million cases, 209,820 deaths
716,459 cases, 44,709 total hospitalizations, 14,671 deaths
77,267 cases, 5,894 total hospitalizations, 1,420 deaths
- There were 15,895 new coronavirus cases in Florida last week.
- There was an average of 2,300 daily new cases over the last week.
Be prepared for seasonal flu and COVID-19
As winter approaches, we should all be prepared for the onset of flu season in addition to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It is possible to contract both illnesses at the same time. This could result in a serious illness, where one disease enhances the adverse effects of the other. To reduce the likelihood of having a double infection, it is recommended that everyone get a flu shot this year, in addition to maintaining strict adherence to infection control measures such as social distancing, meticulous hand hygiene, and wearing masks in public places. Learning to spot the signs of flu and COVID-19 infection may also help in managing the course of illness in case of an infection. Flu and COVID-19 share many of the same symptoms:
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Stuffed sinuses
- In severe cases, pneumonia
In addition, COVID-19 infection often presents with symptoms such as sudden loss of smell and taste and toe rashes and blisters, commonly called “COVID toes.” Shortness of breath is common to both illnesses but a rapid increase in labored breathing is a key signal of an evolving COVID-19 infection.
As always, the best way to reduce the risk of infection with flu or COVID is to maintain social distancing measures and good hand hygiene. For COVID in particular, the three Cs are important:
- Avoid CLOSED spaces with poor ventilation
- Avoid CROWDED places with many people nearby
- Avoid CLOSE-CONTACT settings – such as close-range conversations
- Wear a mask when out in public.
For more information on coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention, visit www.FloridaHealth.org; coronavirus.jhu.edu; cdc.gov.