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Community coronavirus  covid 19 and influenza | Upload Society

Coronavirus, COVID-19 And Influenza

by: Ashley Hagen
coronavirus  covid 19 and influenza | Upload

The COVID-19 pandemic has created monumental imbalance to our accepted way of life, removed the illusion of host dominance, and thrown a glaring spotlight on some of the tiniest members of society —viruses.

COVID-19 And Influsenza: The Clash

As time dutifully marches on, many are all-too-cognizant of the risks associated with a circulating, pandemic respiratory virus, for which there currently remains no adequate treatment or cure, clashing with a flu season that is imminent and unavoidable. To predict how these 2 heavy-hitting viruses might interact with one another, let’s take a look at what we know about each virus and the diseases they inflict.

Virology: Comparison Of Influenza Virus And SARS-CoV-2 Virus Properties.

SARS-CoV-2 is the official name for COVID-19. (Source: American Society for Microbiology)

We know that coinfection with multiple respiratory viruses is possible. More specifically, coinfection has been reported for COVID-19and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, other Coronaviridae, and the flu. A recent study in the Journal of Medical Virology showed that coinfection of COVID-19 and influenza virus was common during the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China. Patients who experienced coinfection had a higher risk of poor health outcomes.

Genome

Coronaviruses and influenza viruses are both enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses, and both are encapsidated by nucleoprotein. However, the genomes of these 2 viruses differ in polarity and segmentation.

  • The influenza virus is comprised of 8 single-stranded negative-sense, viral RNA segments.
  • COVID-19has single-stranded, non-segmented, positive-sense, viral RNA. 

Surface Proteins: COVID-19

Both viruses possess distinguishing surface proteins that serve as important virulence factors for infection.

  • COVID-19 has covered in spike (S) proteins that facilitate the invasion of host cells. S proteins bind to the host cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which regulates blood pressure and fluid-salt balances and is expressed by multiple organ systems throughout the body, including the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, intestines, brain, and adipose tissues. Upon binding, COVID-19injects its RNA into the infected cell and uses host cell machinery to replicate its genome. Newly synthesized virus particles are then released to infect additional host cells.
  • Influenza viruses rely on the collaborative functions of 2 viral surface proteins, haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), to enter and exit host cells. The host cell receptor for influenza viruses is sialic acid, a sugar chain that is fairly ubiquitous and attached to surface lipids and proteins of most host cells and soluble proteins. HA preferentially binds to sialic acid on the surface of respiratory epithelial cells and mediates the virus's entry to host cells. Once inside, the influenza virus releases its RNA to be copied and synthesized into new virus particles. However, as long as HA remains bound to sialic acid on cell surfaces, newly synthesized virus particles cannot exit the infected cells. NA cleaves sialic acid from the cell surface, which releases HA and allows progeny viruses to exit infected cells and continue spreading. 

Strains and Subtypes COVID-19 And Influenza

Another important difference between COVID-19and influenza is that:

  • while there is only 1 strain of SARS-CoV-2,
  • there are 4 different strains (A, B, C, and D) and many different influenza virus subtypes. The 2 most important strains of human disease are influenza A and influenza B, which both cause annual seasonal flu outbreaks. 
     
    Influenza A virus is further divided into subtypes based on its HA and NA surface proteins. There are 18 possible HA subtypes and 11 NA subtypes, which means 198 combinations are possible. However, only 131 subtypes have been detected in nature to date.

Pandemic Probability Influenza Or COVID-19

COVID-19is a novel virus, which means that we had no available treatments or immunity to the pathogen when it emerged in late 2019. Because of this, the virus was able to spread, unrestrained from host to host, and it didn’t take long for the COVID-19outbreak to become a pandemic. 

Even though the flu is not a new pathogen, the influenza virus is constantly evolving and experiencing varying antigenic drift (and shift) that can make it less recognizable to our immune systems. This has made developing a universally effective flu vaccine particularly challenging and explains the constant underlying threat that new zoonotic influenza strains might emerge and become pandemic. Zoonotic subtypes of influenza A have caused all cases of pandemic flu in the U.S., including the Flu of 1918 (H1N1), the 2005 Avian flu (H5N1), and the 2009 Swine flu (H1N1).

Coinfection Dynamics Influenza And COVID-19

We know that coinfection with multiple respiratory viruses is possible. More specifically, coinfection has been reported for COVID-19and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, other Coronaviridae, and the flu. A study recently published in the Journal of Medical Virology showed that coinfection of COVID-19 and influenza virus was common during the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, and patients who experienced coinfection had a higher risk of poor health outcomes.

However, the reported incidence of seasonal influenza has been uncharacteristically low in the southern hemisphere so far this year. In July 2019 (peak influenza season in the southern hemisphere), most regions were reporting greater than 10% test positivity for seasonal influenza, with the most heavily hit areas reporting greater than 30% test positivity. But as of July 20, 2020, no region has reported more than 10% test positivity, and several regions, including Southeast Asia, and parts of South America and Africa have reported 0 cases of the flu.

The reason for this is unclear. It may be that the caseload appears lower because of insufficient testing and reporting, or that the social distancing measures put in place to help stop the transmission of COVID-19have reduced the transmission of influenza virus as well. Whether either virus causes viral interference (competitively suppresses replication of the other virus) or modulates disease severity is of great interest. Because the COVID-19and influenza virus both infect cells of the respiratory tract, they might have to compete for resources (including cells to infect) during coinfection. As previously noted, the host cell receptors are unique for each of these viruses. Sialic acid is more prevalent than ACE2, but the binding affinity of S protein to ACE2 is remarkably strong. It is possible, but remains uncertain, whether either of these factors contributes to a competitive advantage.
 
The host immune response presents another variable worth considering. Does a host’s immune response to one virus make it more difficult for the other to cause infection? Or is an already immunocompromised host left more vulnerable to secondary infection? Only time and experience will tell. But taking a closer look at disease characteristics can help inform diagnosis and treatment plans as we move forward.

Comparison Of COVID-19 And Flu Disease Dynamics.

Updated, August 18, 2020. Source: American Society for Microbiology

Transmission COVID-19 And Influenza

The flu and COVID-19 are both primarily spread via small, virus-laced particles called respiratory droplets that are released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or exhales. Someone nearby may inhale these droplets or become infected through physical contacts, like handshaking or hugging, followed by touching their own nose or mouth.
 
Importantly, individuals do not need to exhibit symptoms to be contagious. Both COVID-19 and the flu can be transmitted by presymptomatic, asymptomatic, and mildly symptomatic individuals. 
 
Influenza virus can remain infectious on surfaces outside of the body for up to 48 hours, which means that it’s possible to get sick by touching an object or surface that has recently been coughed on, sneezed on, or touched by someone who has the flu. There is evidence suggesting that COVID-19RNA may remain present on objects and surfaces for extended periods of time, but how long the virus remains infectious outside of the body has yet to be definitively determined.
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is more contagious in vulnerable populations and age groups and has shown more super spreading activity than the flu (defined as an instance in which an individual has at least 8 transmissions of the disease to other people). 
 
Flu season occurs in the fall and winter. In the U.S., that means October-March, and in the southern hemisphere, June-September. Although the reason for this seasonality is not entirely understood, the influenza virus has been shown to survive longer at low temperatures and low humidity. Other suggested explanations include weakened host immunity due to decreased sunlight and vitamin D and increased exposure to the virus due to indoor cohabitation in the winter. We’ve been asking for months whether COVID-19would exhibit flu-like seasonality and temperature sensitivity. But the persistence of COVID-19 cases throughout the summer has reminded us that these are, indeed, 2 separate viruses. 

Fortunately, both COVID-19and influenza viruses are sensitive to alcohol-based sanitizers and soap, and good hand hygiene is an effective way to reduce transmission.

Incubation Influenza

  • The incubation period for the flu is typically 1-4 days after infection.
  • The incubation period for COVID-19 is considerably more variable. Most people develop symptoms within 5 days of exposure; however, incubation periods of as little as 2 days and up to 14 days or more have been reported.

Symptoms 

Respiratory viruses primarily infect cells of the lungs and respiratory tract. As a result, symptoms, and modes of transmission are tightly linked to respiration processes. Both COVID-19and influenza cause fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. COVID-19also causes loss of taste or smell, and additional, less common, COVID-19 symptoms and complications are continuing to be observed, reported, and evaluated.

In serious cases, both the flu and COVID-19 cause pneumonia, respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, heart attack or stroke, multiple organ failure, severe inflammation, and even death. 

While most respiratory viruses, including RSV, adenovirus, and parainfluenzavirus, exhibit some symptom overlap, that does not mean that each virus's disease progression, severity, or pathogenesis is the same. The flu typically resolves symptoms within 5-7 days of onset, but it takes longer to recover from COVID-19 (about 2 weeks for mild cases and up to 6 weeks or more for severe cases). 

Diagnosis

Because COVID-19 and the flu present very similarly, they are nearly impossible to differentiate based on symptoms alone. Accurate diagnosis requires laboratory testing to identify genetic or molecular components of the infecting virus. 
 
There are several Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved diagnostic tests available for the flu, including viral culture, serology, rapid antigen testing, molecular tests, and immunofluorescence assays. And the FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for molecular tests, serology assays, and rapid antigen testing to diagnose COVID-19 (note that EUAs do not confer FDA approval). 
 
Molecular assays diagnose acute infections by testing for viral RNA in the respiratory specimens of suspected individuals. This type of test continues to be the most accurate way to diagnose COVID-19 and the flu. Molecular assays rely on a laboratory technique called reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), in which viral RNA is extracted from patient specimens, converted to DNA, and amplified with primers that are specific to the virus of interest (in this case, either influenza virus or SARS-CoV-2). Because there are so many influenza virus subtypes, viral culture and molecular testing may be necessary for accurate influenza diagnostics.  
 
Rapid antigen tests detect virus-specific proteins, called antigens, from patient specimens (most notably nasopharyngeal or nasal swabs). Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) are immunoassays that detect influenza A and B viral nucleoprotein antigen and produce results in less than 15 minutes. On May 9, 2020, the  FDA issued the first EUA for a COVID-19 rapid antigen test. Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA detects SARS-CoV-2-specific nucleocapsid protein (N) antigens and produces results within 15 minutes. These tests are efficient, cost-effective, and highly specific. However, they do not distinguish between influenza virus subtypes, and they have low-moderate sensitivity (50-70% for RIDTs), which means the chances of false negatives are higher. For both viruses, molecular tests are the more accurate method of diagnosis. 
 
Serology tests primarily test for immune responses to infection. These tests screen for virus-specific antibodies in the blood of patients suspected of having had previous exposure to COVID-19 or the flu. In most cases, serology testing should not diagnose acute infections, but serological data can be used for contact tracing, epidemiologic studies, and public health investigations.

Treatment & Prevention

Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that targets RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, the enzyme responsible for replicating the COVID-19genome, has received EUA from the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19. Convalescent plasma therapy has also shown great promise in reducing COVID-19 mortality rates and is considered a safe treatment at any illness stage. Many other candidate drugs and vaccines are being moved through clinical trials. However, there is currently no FDA-approved treatment for COVID-19, and supportive care is critical to managing severe COVID-19 infection.
 
Several antiviral medications may be prescribed to treat influenza, including NA inhibitors such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), or peramivir (Rapivab), and a polymerase acidic endonuclease inhibitor, baloxavir (Xofluza). All of these medications inhibit but do not eliminate, influenza virus. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu. 

As we move toward fall, the best things we can do to prepare for the coinciding flu season and global COVID-19 pandemic are getting vaccinated against the flu and practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing measures. Find out where the flu vaccine is available near you.

Before you go!

Recommended: Coronavirus 2020: Strange Times And New Monsters

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In our world, WhatsOrb refuses to turn away from the changes in our society and environment which succeeds each other at a rapid pace.

For WhatsOrb, publishing on the environment is a priority. We give reporting on climate, nature, waste, lifestyle and sustainable solutions the prominence it deserves.

At this turbulent time for ‘all’ species and our planet, we are determined to inform readers about threats, consequences and solutions based on facts, not on political prejudice or business interests.

WhatsOrb Breaking News will be published as soon as urgent events from around the world and startling sustainable innovations reach us.

If there is anything we should know and publish about, please send a note to: [email protected] or write your own story on: www.whatsorb.comthe only news site which gives you a ‘sustainable voice!’

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Coronavirus, COVID-19 And Influenza

The COVID-19 pandemic has created monumental imbalance to our accepted way of life, removed the illusion of host dominance, and thrown a glaring spotlight on some of the tiniest members of society —viruses. COVID-19 And Influsenza: The Clash As time dutifully marches on, many are all-too-cognizant of the risks associated with a circulating, pandemic respiratory virus, for which there currently remains no adequate treatment or cure, clashing with a flu season that is imminent and unavoidable. To predict how these 2 heavy-hitting viruses might interact with one another, let’s take a look at what we know about each virus and the diseases they inflict. Virology: Comparison Of Influenza Virus And SARS-CoV-2 Virus Properties. SARS-CoV-2 is the official name for COVID-19. (Source: American Society for Microbiology) We know that coinfection with multiple respiratory viruses is possible . More specifically, coinfection has been reported for COVID-19and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, other Coronaviridae, and the flu. A recent study in the Journal of Medical Virology showed that coinfection of COVID-19 and influenza virus was common during the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China. Patients who experienced coinfection had a higher risk of poor health outcomes. Genome Coronaviruses and influenza viruses are both enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses, and both are encapsidated by nucleoprotein. However, the genomes of these 2 viruses differ in polarity and segmentation. The influenza virus is comprised of 8 single-stranded negative-sense, viral RNA segments. COVID-19has single-stranded, non-segmented, positive-sense, viral RNA.  Surface Proteins: COVID-19 Both viruses possess distinguishing surface proteins that serve as important virulence factors for infection. COVID-19 has covered in spike (S) proteins that facilitate the invasion of host cells. S proteins bind to the host cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which regulates blood pressure and fluid-salt balances and is expressed by multiple organ systems throughout the body, including the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, intestines, brain, and adipose tissues. Upon binding, COVID-19injects its RNA into the infected cell and uses host cell machinery to replicate its genome. Newly synthesized virus particles are then released to infect additional host cells. Influenza viruses rely on the collaborative functions of 2 viral surface proteins, haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), to enter and exit host cells. The host cell receptor for influenza viruses is sialic acid, a sugar chain that is fairly ubiquitous and attached to surface lipids and proteins of most host cells and soluble proteins. HA preferentially binds to sialic acid on the surface of respiratory epithelial cells and mediates the virus's entry to host cells. Once inside, the influenza virus releases its RNA to be copied and synthesized into new virus particles. However, as long as HA remains bound to sialic acid on cell surfaces, newly synthesized virus particles cannot exit the infected cells. NA cleaves sialic acid from the cell surface, which releases HA and allows progeny viruses to exit infected cells and continue spreading.  Strains and Subtypes COVID-19 And Influenza Another important difference between COVID-19and influenza is that: while there is only 1 strain of SARS-CoV-2, there are 4 different strains (A, B, C, and D) and many different influenza virus subtypes. The 2 most important strains of human disease are influenza A and influenza B, which both cause annual seasonal flu outbreaks.    Influenza A virus is further divided into subtypes based on its HA and NA surface proteins. There are 18 possible HA subtypes and 11 NA subtypes, which means 198 combinations are possible. However, only 131 subtypes have been detected in nature to date. Pandemic Probability Influenza Or COVID-19 COVID-19is a novel virus, which means that we had no available treatments or immunity to the pathogen when it emerged in late 2019. Because of this, the virus was able to spread, unrestrained from host to host, and it didn’t take long for the COVID-19outbreak to become a pandemic.  Even though the flu is not a new pathogen, the influenza virus is constantly evolving and experiencing varying antigenic drift (and shift) that can make it less recognizable to our immune systems. This has made developing a universally effective flu vaccine particularly challenging and explains the constant underlying threat that new zoonotic influenza strains might emerge and become pandemic. Zoonotic subtypes of influenza A have caused all cases of pandemic flu in the U.S., including the Flu of 1918 (H1N1), the 2005 Avian flu (H5N1), and the 2009 Swine flu (H1N1). Coinfection Dynamics Influenza And COVID-19 We know that coinfection with multiple respiratory viruses is possible . More specifically, coinfection has been reported for COVID-19and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, other Coronaviridae, and the flu. A study recently published in the Journal of Medical Virology showed that coinfection of COVID-19 and influenza virus was common during the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China, and patients who experienced coinfection had a higher risk of poor health outcomes. However, the reported incidence of seasonal influenza has been uncharacteristically low in the southern hemisphere so far this year. In July 2019 (peak influenza season in the southern hemisphere), most regions were reporting greater than 10% test positivity for seasonal influenza, with the most heavily hit areas reporting greater than 30% test positivity. But as of July 20, 2020, no region has reported more than 10% test positivity, and several regions, including Southeast Asia, and parts of South America and Africa have reported 0 cases of the flu. The reason for this is unclear. It may be that the caseload appears lower because of insufficient testing and reporting, or that the social distancing measures put in place to help stop the transmission of COVID-19have reduced the transmission of influenza virus as well. Whether either virus causes viral interference (competitively suppresses replication of the other virus) or modulates disease severity is of great interest. Because the COVID-19and influenza virus both infect cells of the respiratory tract, they might have to compete for resources (including cells to infect) during coinfection. As previously noted, the host cell receptors are unique for each of these viruses. Sialic acid is more prevalent than ACE2, but the binding affinity of S protein to ACE2 is remarkably strong. It is possible, but remains uncertain, whether either of these factors contributes to a competitive advantage.   The host immune response presents another variable worth considering. Does a host’s immune response to one virus make it more difficult for the other to cause infection? Or is an already immunocompromised host left more vulnerable to secondary infection? Only time and experience will tell. But taking a closer look at disease characteristics can help inform diagnosis and treatment plans as we move forward. Comparison Of COVID-19 And Flu Disease Dynamics. Updated, August 18, 2020. Source: American Society for Microbiology Transmission COVID-19 And Influenza The flu and COVID-19 are both primarily spread via small, virus-laced particles called respiratory droplets that are released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or exhales. Someone nearby may inhale these droplets or become infected through physical contacts, like handshaking or hugging, followed by touching their own nose or mouth.   Importantly, individuals do not need to exhibit symptoms to be contagious. Both COVID-19 and the flu can be transmitted by presymptomatic, asymptomatic, and mildly symptomatic individuals.    Influenza virus can remain infectious on surfaces outside of the body for up to 48 hours, which means that it’s possible to get sick by touching an object or surface that has recently been coughed on, sneezed on, or touched by someone who has the flu. There is evidence suggesting that COVID-19RNA may remain present on objects and surfaces for extended periods of time, but how long the virus remains infectious outside of the body has yet to be definitively determined.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is more contagious in vulnerable populations and age groups and has shown more super spreading activity than the flu (defined as an instance in which an individual has at least 8 transmissions of the disease to other people).    Flu season occurs in the fall and winter. In the U.S., that means October-March, and in the southern hemisphere, June-September. Although the reason for this seasonality is not entirely understood, the influenza virus has been shown to survive longer at low temperatures and low humidity. Other suggested explanations include weakened host immunity due to decreased sunlight and vitamin D and increased exposure to the virus due to indoor cohabitation in the winter. We’ve been asking for months whether COVID-19would exhibit flu-like seasonality and temperature sensitivity. But the persistence of COVID-19 cases throughout the summer has reminded us that these are, indeed, 2 separate viruses.  Fortunately, both COVID-19and influenza viruses are sensitive to alcohol-based sanitizers and soap, and good hand hygiene is an effective way to reduce transmission. Incubation Influenza The incubation period for the flu is typically 1-4 days after infection. The incubation period for COVID-19 is considerably more variable. Most people develop symptoms within 5 days of exposure; however, incubation periods of as little as 2 days and up to 14 days or more have been reported. Symptoms  Respiratory viruses primarily infect cells of the lungs and respiratory tract. As a result, symptoms, and modes of transmission are tightly linked to respiration processes. Both COVID-19and influenza cause fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. COVID-19also causes loss of taste or smell, and additional, less common, COVID-19 symptoms and complications are continuing to be observed, reported, and evaluated. In serious cases, both the flu and COVID-19 cause pneumonia, respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, heart attack or stroke, multiple organ failure, severe inflammation, and even death.  While most respiratory viruses, including RSV, adenovirus, and parainfluenzavirus, exhibit some symptom overlap, that does not mean that each virus's disease progression, severity, or pathogenesis is the same. The flu typically resolves symptoms within 5-7 days of onset, but it takes longer to recover from COVID-19 (about 2 weeks for mild cases and up to 6 weeks or more for severe cases).  Diagnosis Because COVID-19 and the flu present very similarly, they are nearly impossible to differentiate based on symptoms alone. Accurate diagnosis requires laboratory testing to identify genetic or molecular components of the infecting virus.    There are several Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved diagnostic tests available for the flu, including viral culture, serology, rapid antigen testing, molecular tests, and immunofluorescence assays. And the FDA has issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for molecular tests, serology assays, and rapid antigen testing to diagnose COVID-19 (note that EUAs do not confer FDA approval).    Molecular assays diagnose acute infections by testing for viral RNA in the respiratory specimens of suspected individuals. This type of test continues to be the most accurate way to diagnose COVID-19 and the flu. Molecular assays rely on a laboratory technique called reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), in which viral RNA is extracted from patient specimens, converted to DNA, and amplified with primers that are specific to the virus of interest (in this case, either influenza virus or SARS-CoV-2). Because there are so many influenza virus subtypes, viral culture and molecular testing may be necessary for accurate influenza diagnostics.     Rapid antigen tests detect virus-specific proteins, called antigens, from patient specimens (most notably nasopharyngeal or nasal swabs). Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) are immunoassays that detect influenza A and B viral nucleoprotein antigen and produce results in less than 15 minutes. On May 9, 2020, the  FDA issued the first EUA for a COVID-19 rapid antigen test. Sofia 2 SARS Antigen FIA detects SARS-CoV-2-specific nucleocapsid protein (N) antigens and produces results within 15 minutes. These tests are efficient, cost-effective, and highly specific. However, they do not distinguish between influenza virus subtypes, and they have low-moderate sensitivity (50-70% for RIDTs), which means the chances of false negatives are higher. For both viruses, molecular tests are the more accurate method of diagnosis.    Serology tests primarily test for immune responses to infection. These tests screen for virus-specific antibodies in the blood of patients suspected of having had previous exposure to COVID-19 or the flu. In most cases, serology testing should not diagnose acute infections, but serological data can be used for contact tracing, epidemiologic studies, and public health investigations. Treatment & Prevention Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that targets RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, the enzyme responsible for replicating the COVID-19genome, has received EUA from the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19. Convalescent plasma therapy has also shown great promise in reducing COVID-19 mortality rates and is considered a safe treatment at any illness stage. Many other candidate drugs and vaccines are being moved through clinical trials. However, there is currently no FDA-approved treatment for COVID-19, and supportive care is critical to managing severe COVID-19 infection.   Several antiviral medications may be prescribed to treat influenza, including NA inhibitors such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza), or peramivir (Rapivab), and a polymerase acidic endonuclease inhibitor, baloxavir (Xofluza). All of these medications inhibit but do not eliminate, influenza virus. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu.  As we move toward fall, the best things we can do to prepare for the coinciding flu season and global COVID-19 pandemic are getting vaccinated against the flu and practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing measures. Find out where the flu vaccine is available near you. Before you go! Recommended:  Coronavirus 2020: Strange Times And New Monsters Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your article about how you deal with the coronavirus? Send your writing & scribble with a photo to  [email protected] , and we will write an interesting article based on your input.
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