Pediatrician discusses impending flu wildcard and what you can do

COVID and the Classroom

ST. LOUIS – Fox 2’s Chris Hayes spoke with a pediatrician who said the coming flu season could add troubling complications to what we’re already facing with COVID-19. Dr. Rachel Orscheln is working with schools on their reopening plans. She’s also an associate professor of pediatrics in the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Washington University Medical School and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

“We’re going to have to do what we can this year to try to keep safe and healthy,” Dr. Orscheln said. “One way we can do that is by making sure all children are up to date on their vaccinations, including (the) influenza vaccine.”

“We’re really going to hope the community takes this up to a large degree because this will really help to prevent an illness that really looks a lot like the novel coronavirus infection and, for children, influenza can be an even more serious disease,” she said.

“In other places in the world, such as Australia, where they are in their flu season right now, they have had larger numbers of patients take the influenza vaccine than previously and what we have seen potentially as a result of that is that they are seeing an extremely low influenza season, so I would like for us to reproduce that here.”

Interesting that in response to the coronavirus, Australia upped their vaccination rate?

“I do think many places have a push for the influenza vaccine because there’s so much overlap in terms of the symptoms, but also that can help to preserve some of our hospital resources if we reduce the number of cases of influenza,” Dr. Orscheln said.

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