Doctors urge flu shot help diagnose flu vs COVID-19

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INDIANAPOLIS — When it comes to the flu shot – doctors say it’s especially important this year because of COVID-19.

When it comes to some of the symptoms, they’re very similar. A cough, congestion, shortness of breath, even muscle pain, nausea and vomiting.

The only symptom really specific to COVID-19 is loss of smell and taste – and not every person experiences those. So doctors say if you get your flu shot it can help them better diagnose you.

“If we see lots of flu-like illness with these people where we don’t know if they have covid or the flu, and that goes up, we could see things go backwards or taken preventative measures, we don’t have to see that,” Dr. Aaron Shoemaker, chief medical officer of Ascension Medical Group Indiana said.

Doctors and the CDC recommend getting your flu shot now if you can. They say it can make your flu less severe and lower your risk of going to the hospital by up to 70-percent. And some of the cautions we’re taking in this pandemic can make a positive impact this flu season.

“If we do a good job with social distancing, wearing our masks, and being aware, that should have an impact to help, hopefully, negate some of the impact from the flu,” Dr. Shoemaker said.

Physicians also say the flu is more dangerous for children than COVID-19. So doctors recommend getting your kids the flu shot.

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