‘It might not be COVID’ – Health Minister says to check with doctors about flu symptoms

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Though there is a surge in the number of people currently infected with the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony says that many people may be battling the common influenza (flu) virus.

“There is also a flu that is going around and we have to differentiate between the two [the flu and coronavirus],” Dr. Anthony said on Thursday during his daily COVID-19 update.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), both COVID-19 and the flu are respiratory diseases. And both illnesses share similar symptoms including cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, headache and fatigue.

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony

To differentiate between the two, the Health Minister advised individuals to engage their doctors who are capable of making those diagnoses.

He said that individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms can also get tested for COVID-19 to ascertain whether they have been infected.

Dr. Anthony previously stated that an individual should wait for about five days after they may have come into contact with a COVID- positive individual before getting tested. If an individual is tested before that timeframe, there may not be enough viral particles in their body to verify the COVID-19 infection.

Dr. Anthony also said that it may be “coincidental” that there are more infections being recorded among children and teachers who are already experiencing these flu-like symptoms.

He, however, did not provide figures for the number of children and teachers infected.

Meanwhile, he emphasised that the longstanding public health guidelines will help to protect people from becoming infected. This includes mask-wearing, maintaining a social distance and constant sanitisation.

He also emphasised that vaccination will help to protect people from experiencing the more severe symptoms of the disease.

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