BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Officials with the state health department are anticipating more rapid flu testing to differentiate it from COVID-19.
Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said it is possible for someone to be co-infected with both COVID-19 and the flu, but it may not be easy to tell if you have both.
Landers said viruses come from respiratory droplets, meaning they can be caught the same way. She said it is hard to say how having the viruses at the same time will impact the body, but both weaken immune systems and can be deadly.
Landers said the only way to know the difference is with testing, so she thinks there will be more flu tests administered this year. She also said thanks to social distancing, the flu may not be as prominent this year.
“I hope that we are going to have less influenza this year because if we are practicing those preventative measures for COVID, that should help us to also reduce influenza, plus people also need to get their flu shots,” Landers said.
Landers said the only way to mitigate contracting both viruses at the same time is to get a flu shot. She said the shot will not prevent someone from getting the flu, but could make the virus less severe.