I-TEAM: Does the flu shot help prevent coronavirus?
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7
AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- As researchers work overtime to develop a new vaccine, our I-Team has been getting questions about an old one.
Some of you have been wondering -- does a flu shot help in the fight against the coronavirus?
It's a good question because even when the flu shot doesn't work, it still "works." The vaccine only covers a few strains, but if you get a different one, your symptoms are mild.
Unfortunately, Dr. Jim Wilde says that's not the case with coronavirus.
"The proteins on flu and the proteins on the coronavirus are completely different,” Dr. Wilde said. “So the vaccine for flu, in theory, would have no benefit for coronavirus."
Speaking of the flu, let's talk tests. A positive flu test can -- and does -- make a difference. That's because there are treatments for the flu.
For example, a doctor could prescribe Tamiflu.
There's no treatment yet for coronavirus, so Dr. Wilde says testing you or your child doesn't really change anything.
"If a child gets a fever and cough and sore throat in the next few weeks, we're going to be telling all the parents take care of the same as you would during flu season. Give them plenty of fluids. Give them Tylenol for fever. Give them bed rest,” Dr. Wilde said.