Dr. Travis Sims of Ally Medical Emergency Room joined Studio 512 Co-Host Stephanie Gilbert to talk about the flu season this year.

Is the flu season going to be bad this year?

“Ultimately, we don’t know. Experts do believe this flu season will be significant, certainly compared to last season, which was basically nonexistent. Last year’s mild season really showed us the importance of public health measures. This year, individuals have become laxer — kids are back in school, and there is
certainly more socialization going on. Many experts believe that we may be in for a more severe flu season than typical simply because we weren’t able to attain enough public immunity last year due to
the COVID-19 safety measures (masking, social distancing, etc).”

When is the best time to get the flu shot?

“Now is a perfect time. There is thought to be a larger number of susceptible people this year due to less natural immunity from the nonexistent season last year. Therefore, experts believe there will be a rise in cases earlier than typical.”

Why is getting the flu vaccine important?

“The vaccine is used to help prevent severe illness and hospitalization, which we know both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines do quite effectively. Not only does it help to protect you individually, but it also helps make an impact from a public health standpoint to decrease the overall number of cases. Without enough people vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu, we’re worried about another hospital capacity issue, taking away our ability to take care of people who need the hospital for routine issues.”

Can I get my COVID-19 shot and flu shot at the same time?

“Yes. As with most vaccines, you may receive different ones during the same

What symptoms of flu are different than COVID-19?

“There is no reliable way, from a symptoms standpoint, to tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19. Both are respiratory illnesses and symptoms overlap greatly. Ultimately, you need to get tested.”

Why is it important to know the difference?

“Treatment varies. With the flu, you can take antivirals, such as Tamiflu, within the first 48 hours of symptoms onset to have the best outcome regarding severity and duration of symptoms. With COVID-19, you may be a candidate for monoclonal antibody therapy to help prevent severe illness and hospitalization. So the actual diagnosis matters when it comes to the management and treatment plan of the illness.”

If you think you might have the flu or if you’re having any of these symptoms why is Ally Medical ER a good choice?

“At Ally, we have advanced testing options and the ability to assess your clinical presentation to determine your potential cause of illness, not just for the flu and COVID-19, but also for a plethora of other causes with a similar clinical picture. Additionally, if medication is needed, we have a full pharmacy and will be able to get you started on your treatment immediately. Our team of board-certified emergency medicine physicians will be able to help diagnose you, form a tailored treatment plan, and help get you on the road to recovery!”

For more information, visit AllyMedical.com.

This segment is paid for by Ally Medical Emergency Room and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.