HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines have remained in place throughout the pandemic and are continuing to be encouraged by health officials during flu season.
Chief of Pediatrics at Valley Baptist, Dr. Asim Zamir said typically during flu season there is a high number of kids being treated, but in the past two years that has not been the case.
Dr. Zamir said it is hard to differentiate the common flu from COVID-19 and advises parents to take their child to the doctor if they develop a cough, fever or runny nose.
According to Dr. Zamir, social distancing, handwashing and masks have helped slow the spread of COVID-19, and continuing those safety protocols can help also keep people stay safe from the flu.
As for vaccines, Pfizer submitted its trial data of COVID-19 vaccine for ages five to 11 and hopes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will authorize emergency use authorization soon.
Dr. Zamir said having the vaccine available for the younger population will help lower the number of kids hospitalized.
“It will be a game-changer within schools because that is that population,” he said.
Dr. Christopher Romero, an internal medicine specialist at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, said in a press release that the combination of COVID-19 with the flu could be severe.
Flu vaccinations will help prevent the Valley’s healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts said.
While vaccines remain a sign of hope and have proven to help slow the spread, Dr. Zamir said everyone should continue to follow CDC guidelines.
Dr. Zamir encourages anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms to stay home.