The upcoming flu season could complicate fighting the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID and the Classroom

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – I talked to a pediatrician who said the coming flu season could add troubling complications to what we’re already facing.  Dr. Rachel Ors Orscheln, is a doctor who’s been working with schools on their re-opening plans.  She’s also an associate professor of pediatrics in the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Washington University 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. One way we can do that is by making sure all children are up to date on their vaccinations including influenza vaccine,” said Dr. Rachel Orscheln, MD — Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases.

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

“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. 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,” said Dr. Rachel Orscheln.

Interesting, is that in response to the coronavirus that 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,” said Dr. Rachel Orscheln.

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