For adults, COVID-19 is 10 times more deadly than seasonal flu. For children, seasonal flu is 10 times more deadly than COVID-19. STS parents learned those facts and many more about the COVID-19 virus when they attended the virtual Q&A with fellow STS parent and infectious disease specialist, Dr. Sallie Permar.
Dr. Permar, Ph.D., MD, is a nationally-recognized physician and scientist, specializing in pediatric infectious diseases, who serves on our STS medical advisory team. Parents submitted questions before the online discussion, moderated by Head of School Tim Tinnesz.
Some of the key takeaways from the Q&A session are that infected people can spread the virus without having any symptoms of COVID-19. Those who develop the illness are often contagious for up to two days before their first symptoms develop, which is why wearing masks, washing hands and socially distancing are so important. Although children are less affected by COVID-19, they can still spread the disease to others.
Dr. Permar explained why everyone should get the flu shot, especially this year: “Doing so will considerably reduce the chance you will get severely ill with influenza, including reducing hospitalization and death from the infection. Contrary to a popular myth, the seasonal flu vaccine is safe and cannot ‘give you the flu.’ To make STS the safest it can be for our children and teachers, we all need to do our part to get a flu vaccine.”
A summary of Dr. Permar’s comments is available on our website.