top of page

Surge in COVID-19 cases sparks questions recommendations during cold and flu season

By Kimberly Brown

January 26, 2022

Doctors recommend steps for preventing viral infections

With the cold and flu season in full swing at the same time as a dramatic uptick in COVID-19 cases due to the highly transmittable Omicron variant, many people wonder how to tell the difference between the viruses which can share similar symptoms. Likewise, California’s steep surge in Omicron and hospitalization rates have sparked concern among health officials, who urge the public to continue to practice safety basics to ward off COVID-19, colds, and flu, and to help prevent overwhelming busy hospitals and healthcare workers. Personal safety measures include frequent hand washing, wearing a well-fitting mask, getting tested, and staying home when sick. The most important way to keep COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations down is by getting vaccinated and boosted, health experts say. If you’re feeling sick, Dr. Jerry P. Abraham, Director of Kedren Vaccines in South Los Angeles, shares ways to identify the different symptoms of the common cold, flu, and COVID-19. “Because they are all respiratory illnesses, it is important to pay attention to symptoms as many overlap,” he said. “With the common cold, you typically don’t have a fever unless you are severely sick. Overall, milder symptoms include a stuffy nose and sore throat.” “Cough, fever, fatigue, and muscle aches are common to both flu and COVID-19. Loss of smell is a classic indicator of having COVID-19 and is rarely seen with the common cold and flu,” Abraham said. Whether it’s a cold, flu, or COVID-19, health experts encourage people to stay home to slow the spread if they are experiencing symptoms. Testing is easier now that free COVID-19 tests are available from the federal government at “Omicron is spreading faster than any other COVID-19 variant,” said Dr. Sylvia Gates Carlisle, Operations Medical Director at Beaver Medical Group and Director of Practice Management Curriculum at UC Riverside Family Medicine Residency. “This is particularly alarming for our community, as Blacks and African Americans in California remain the second-lowest group of those vaccinated (58.6 percent),” she said. Getting vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu is especially critical this year — and it’s safe to get them at the same time, said Dr. Gates. It might also be time to upgrade your mask to one with a good fit and filtration, such as an N95, KF94, or KN95. “Masking helps stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as the common cold and flu, so it’s important for people to continue to mask up, regardless of vaccination status, to protect ourselves and those around us,” said Dr. Gates. “If you’re not vaccinated, get your shot as soon as possible. If you are eligible, get boosted. It can help increase your immunity almost immediately. Now’s also the time for parents and guardians to help get their eligible youth vaccinated and boosted,” reminded Dr. Abraham. Schedule a vaccination or booster appointment today at or by calling 833-422-4255.

The above article by Kimberly Brown is reprinted with the permission of Lagrant Communications.

78 views0 comments


bottom of page