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Health Officials Concerned about Flu and COVID Coexisting

Marianna Bacallao, WVIK News

Flu season has local health officials worried an overwhelmed health care system may not be able to handle the influx of cases in the coming months.

Dr. Louis Katz, Medical Director for the Scott County Health Department, says that COVID-19 shares a lot of symptoms with the Flu—fever, cough, aches and chills—and they spread in similar ways—droplets from the lungs. But there are some key differences. 

"Influenza is almost totally spread by people with symptoms. So, as soon as you start to get sick, you go home, and isolate yourself so you don't transmit to other people. COVID is transmitted for up to 48 hours before the first symptoms develop, and in maybe 15-20% people never show any symptoms of COVID."

Another key difference? One already has a well-established vaccine. And Katz says everyone who can, should get a Flu shot as soon as possible. 

Marianna Bacallao is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2020-2021 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student newspaper, The Cluster.
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