Seasonal flu and vector-borne diseases are a major concern in Vizag. Statistically, Visakhapatnam District accounts for 30 percent of the cases to have surfaced in the Andhra Pradesh State. The latter is also being called the seasonal disease capital of the State. In addition to this, the threat of Covid-19 continues to daunt us to an extent that we doubt every sneeze, cough or cold. To provide an understanding and explain the nitty-gritty of the flu and Covid-19, Yo! Vizag got in touch with Andhra Medical College AMC Principal, Dr P.V. Sudhakar. Here are the major questions he answered regarding flu and Covid-19 in Vizag.
Flu vs Covid-19: What is the difference?
Talking about the difference between flu and Covid-19, Dr P.V. Sudhakar informed that the severity and intensity of the illness caused by the infection is the main difference. He added that Covid-19 is more lethal, severe and mortality inducing.
Can a person catch flu and Covid-19 at the same time?
“It is quite possible. Mixed infections with both viruses could be harmful”, informed Dr Sudhakar. He added that both viruses take the same path, so they can co-exist and infect the same person. Since both the infections have similar symptoms like cold, cough, running nose and body aches, one can only detect Covid-19 when the infected person suffers severe breathlessness.
Why are flu and viral fever cases rising during this time in Vizag?
Talking about the rising seasonal flu and viral fever cases in Vizag, Dr Sudhakar informed that Visakhapatnam District accounts for the highest tribal population in the state, so invariably we register higher cases. Quoting a presentation that he went through last week, he added that there has been no exponential rise in the number of cases. This year, due to the threat of Covid-19, people are more conscious about their health now more than ever. That is why more patients are turning up in the hospitals to get checked up.
Is there a flu vaccine and should people take it?
“The flu vaccine is more popular in the western countries”, said Dr Sudhakar. He added that it is not mandatory to take the flu vaccine but if you have the opportunity to take one, please do so. The AMC Principal was persistent that those who have to take the Covid-19 vaccination should maintain a minimum time interval of 14 days. He informed that since there is no age bar for taking the flu vaccine anyone is eligible to take it.
What is the total number of flu and viral fever-related cases reported daily in Vizag?
“Around 80 tests are being conducted at the King George Hospital (KGH) in Vizag. An average of 30 percent of the total tests conducted, are infected by the seasonal flu in Vizag,” informed Dr Sudhakar.