Healthcare Professionals Prepare for First Flu Season in the Time of COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has now infected a staggering over 10 million people, including having claimed the lives of 226,000, all in the U.S., alone. Additionally, the virus is showing no signs of slowing down as we approach what could be the most-important flu season on record. The emphasis on respiratory health and being properly vaccinated have never been more necessary.

That said, it remains a mystery as to how the flu, common cold and novel coronavirus will all coexist this season. To one end, the three influenzas could make for a deadly combination, while the other end of the spectrum, because of the numerous closures of business and schools, as well as the rising numbers of those wearing masks, practicing social distancing and proper hand-washing hygiene could slow them.

The flu attacks the respiratory tract, affecting the nose and throat, which all lead to your lungs. Similarly, the coronavirus infects the same area, making it difficult to breathe, due to inflammation. This leads to numerous problems, like pneumonia, thus infecting the alveoli, which is dangerous as this is the area where blood exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide. As a direct result, patients can develop Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or even lose their lives.

It is encouraged to get a flu vaccination this season, for the obvious reasons listed above. The four most-common is the standard intramuscular inactivated influenza injection, but there are also the virus-grown cell culture shot, an attenuated live virus nasal spray and, for those 65-years and older, a high-dosage vaccination injection. In fact, the FDA has approved a new vaccine for senior citizens who opt out of a quadrivalent high-dose influenza vaccine in the quadrivalent adjuvanted influenza vaccine.

In preparing for the forthcoming winter, in conjunction with the importance of getting a vaccination early, people should approach the season by taking continued preventative coronavirus measures.

  1. Wear a mask in public and avoid contact with individuals who may seem sick.
  2. Be sure to practice good hand-washing hygiene, especially before you eat.
  3. Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing and avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth.
  4. Emphasize reducing stress levels, getting plenty of sleep and maintaining a balanced diet.
  5. Disinfect surfaces on a schedule, including your personal devices and automobiles.
  6. If you are feeling sick, stay home for at least 24 hours. If symptoms continue, see a doctor.

This influenza season will surely push the healthcare industry to the brink. MedPro Healthcare Staffing features a vast network of talented travel nurses and allied professionals, who are all readily deployable to combat COVID-19 and provide ideal patient care.

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Author: Michael Stagno

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