COVID…the Flu…Allergies…What’s the difference?

Someone sneezed in aisle two!

Nearly a year into the pandemic, COVID-19 remains an uninvited guest.

2020: The year when innocently clearing your throat in the local supermarket was greeted with looks of sheer terror. When waking up with minor body aches, gave us pause. Had the invisible threat finally found its way in? Nearly a year into the pandemic, COVID-19 remains an uninvited guest. And the mysterious factors surrounding its cause and cure continue to fuel the fires of anxiety. What next? Flu season!

Influenza typically rears its ugly head just in time for the holidays. But with symptoms similar to COVID, how do we tell the difference? The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses but evolve from entirely different viruses. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) helps navigate through the common signs and symptoms. And provides some insight into what differentiates the two.

While both can produce, fevers, coughs, shortness of breath and muscle aches, COVID-19 also causes a loss of taste and smell. It spreads like wildfire, compared to Influenza, and results in more serious illnesses in certain populations. In a nutshell, COVID-19 appears to be more severe than the flu. But, with so many unknowns remaining about the novel virus, the best course of action is testing. But wait. Aside from the direct symptoms of both viruses, there is one question looming, particularly with bedbound patients. What is the flu and COVID doing to the skin?

The Pressure is ON
When it comes to a patient’s skin and the overall risk for pressure injury development, COVID and the flu are equal opportunity participants. Severe cases of both viruses resulting in hospitalization can take its toll on patients who are often lying in the prone position for prolonged periods of time. While prone positioning has had measurable success in treating patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), it doesn’t always address issues of the skin. Finding a balance between the potential life-saving methods of the prone position and preserving skin integrity is crucial.

But there is hope! Support surfaces specially designed for pressure injury management are available and eager to assist COVID and flu patients, alike. Patients requiring prone positioning remain protected and enjoy an extra level of comfort. Heat and moisture are addressed in accordance with the patient’s individual care plan. And, the surface can accompany the patient throughout their hospital/home journey. CLICK HERE to find the ideal surface solution to best meet the patient’s needs – because matching the patient to the product is always the best course of action.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4759994/