Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare offices are at the frontlines of the novel coronavirus crisis. There’s extreme pressure to provide care and stay safe. But with COVID-19 cases expected to be on the rise and the start of flu season, what can you do to keep your staff safe and treat patients in need. It’s essential to know the differences and similarities. Let’s take a closer look.
Symptoms in Common
The flu and COVID-19 are both viruses, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same. However, Both COVID-19 and the Flu have similar symptoms with a few key differences. The commonalities include:
- Fever or the feeling of being feverish
- Cough and congestion
- Difficulty breathing
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Body and headaches
Having the flu can feel like you’ve been run over by a truck, and for mild cases of COVID-19, it may be very similar. The most notable differences with COVID-19 appear to be a loss of taste and smell and persistent pain or pressure in the chest. Severe symptoms can also include confusion or an inability to wake from sleep.
Preventing COVID-19 and the Flu
The medical industry isn’t one that has the luxury of working from home or even practicing physical distancing from people who are sick. Adhering to strict safety protocol in the workplace is essential, but your facility has to enforce those for patients and families as well. Communication is the most crucial aspect. Ensure people know they need to wear masks and limit the number of people in the office to just the patient themselves. The flu shot has been recommended earlier this year to prevent co-infections or for flu overwhelming and already overwhelmed healthcare system.
For both the flu and COVID-19, the best thing you can do for your team is to encourage and require them to stay home when they’re sick. Of course, one of the primary challenges COVID-19 is that it can be spread when people are peri-symptomatic. That means they can shed the virus before they experience symptoms. That’s why safety precautions such as physical distance, regular hand washing, sanitizing frequently used surfaces, and wearing personal protective gear, including masks, shields, and gloves are the key ways to prevent the spread of the infection.
Do You Need More RN’s to Support Your Practice This Flu Season?
Contact Fortus Healthcare Resources today to discuss your contingent healthcare staffing needs.