If things are not bad enough, we are entering the usual influenza season with a back-drop of a coronavirus pandemic.  Top this off with the knowledge that not only will patients get COVID-19, but also the usual viral pneumonia along with co-infections with bacterial pneumonia.  It is known that patients who develop viral pneumonia often will develop bacterial pneumonia later in the course of their infection.

Because of the pandemic and the high incidence of influenza this time of the year and into the early spring, it is imperative that everyone get an influenza immunization, either at the doctor’s office or at a local pharmacy.  Depending on your age, you will need the appropriate strength of vaccine.

Current infectious disease recommendations say that anyone with respiratory tract symptoms should be tested for influenza, as well as the coronavirus.  There are some medications that can help mitigate any exposure to influenza, and can also be helpful in reducing the symptoms and shortening the course of illness if given within a 48-hour time frame.  You need to know if you were in contact with someone with proven influenza and call your physician.  Also, if you are sick and are tested for influenza early, you may be able to get some help to reduce the severity of your illness if you can get medication within 48 hours.  Recurrence of fever and cough after improvement may indicate a bacterial infection requiring antibiotic therapy.  Report it to your doctor.