Doctors prepare for impact of COVID-19 during upcoming flu season

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Many health care systems in the U.S. are hard at work in the fight to see a reduction in coronavirus cases.

Health officials project it will take months to see a flattening of the curve and this has many concerned for what this will mean in this year’s flu season.

“Generally in the late Fall and early Winter,  we already have a lot of increase in the health care system where hospital beds are just generally fuller,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford, medical director of disease control for the Jefferson County Department of Health.

Willeford said treating a person for COVID-19 and the flu at or around the same time would be a new challenge for those in the medical field.

“Very likely to hit your body in a very hard way. This could leave you requiring oxygen for a period of time and another scenario if a person has COVID and influenza back to back it can leave you more vulnerable to other types of infections like pneumonia,” he said.

Dr. Michael Luther with Grandview Medical Group said that since there is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, hospitals have already begun making preparations to handle both viruses at the same time.

“Whether we will be bringing patients in the same way to be tested for coronavirus and flu at the same time. Honestly, it seems to make the most sense because the similarity of the symptoms. You are not going to be able to tell who has one or the other without double testing,” Luther said.


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