Geneva: Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) have highlighted the influenza risk for children and pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic, calling for strong surveillance and testing.
Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead for WHO's Health Emergencies Program, said at a WHO press briefing on Monday that it was still unknown how the coming influenza season in the Northern Hemisphere is to unfold, reports Xinhua news agency.
However, strong surveillance systems for influenza are already in place and are still working even during the pandemic.
She recommended that people at high risk for influenza take vaccinations this year as the pandemic continues to rage.
Her view was echoed by Janet Diaz, the WHO Clinical Management Lead, who emphasized that surveillance is the key against the influenza season, and that although influenza and COVID-19 do have common symptoms, there are still some differences.
If the two groups show symptoms of acute respiratory infection, they need to be tested first before taking different treatment pathways, she added.