September 28, 2020 13:30
This year's free flu vaccination program hit a snag when it was found on Sept. 22 that 5.78 million doses of flu vaccines were exposed to room temperature.
By then some 400 people had already been vaccinated, causing concerns for any side effects, although doctors say the safety or efficacy of the vaccinations had probably not been compromised.
But the delay increases the danger of high-risk groups being exposed to the double threat of seasonal flu and coronavirus. Since many of their symptoms overlap, it can be difficult to tell one from the other.
Experts advise high-risk groups like the elderly and those with chronic diseases to get tested for both flu and COVID-19, while young and middle-aged adults who fall ill should avoid drugs that suppress the symptoms until they have had the test.
"High-risk groups can able to lower the risk if they undergo a test and begin treatment quickly after they have suspected symptoms," said Prof. Kim Woo-joo at Korea University Guro Hospital.
Generally, flu runs rampant from mid-November to December or January. Kim said, "If you have a respiratory symptom or a fever in September and October, it's more likely that it's coronavirus."
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