From an interview with
Dr. Michael Sperling
McLeod Primary Care Seacoast
We know how to treat the flu – at least the symptoms. COVID-19 is different, as McLeod Primary Care Physician Dr. Michael Sperling explains.
Here are the major points of Dr. Sperling’s comments:
In terms of influenza or COVID-19, most children with influenza have more GI symptoms than adults. Thankfully, many youth with the flu are only sick for couple days with headache, diarrhea and vomiting. Then, they recover fully.
Studies show that children are typically doing better than adults with COVID. A lot of youth actually remain asymptomatic with COVID, meaning that they don’t actually show any symptoms. This is good, in terms of children not becoming too ill with this virus. However, the danger lies in that fact that they end up harboring the virus and actually are high risk for transmitting it to some of the high risk populations that we’re concerned about. Therein, lies the real danger in terms of children and COVID-19.
For the flu, there is a treatment, but the administration of the treatment depends on when you present with symptoms of the flu. If you seek medical care within 48 hours of first experiencing symptoms, there is a medication called Tamiflu that can be administered. Many times, patients will actually present outside of that 48 window. After that, it’s really supportive care — Tylenol for the fever, making sure that you keep up your fluid intake, avoid electrolyte depletion and things like that
Up to this point, there is no universally accepted treatment specifically for COVID. Much of the care is supportive. It should be noted that a majority of healthy people that get COVID actually end up doing really well with supportive care. Once again, it’s the vulnerable population that we’re concerned about.
Unfortunately there’s literally hundreds and thousands of different strains of the flu. So, vaccine doesn’t protect you against all the flu strains, but it does offer protection against the most common strains. And that degree of protection is better than no protection at all.
We recommend everybody get flu vaccine starting around the fall season. Now more than ever, we would recommend flu vaccination for everyone that’s eligible for it.