Flu or COVID?: Cases of both illnesses are up in Philadelphia, New Jersey

The masks are off, but flu cases are up in April.

"We’re seeing more in the offices and emergency rooms than we saw the last two years combined," Dr. Eric Sztejman, with Virtua Health, Pulmonary Critical Care, stated.

Dr. Sztejman says in the past week and a half, they’ve seen cases spike. New Jersey Department of Health says flu activity statewide is high.

"Most important thing to do right now – wash your hands. If you’re sick, please stay home," Dr. Sztejman commented.


Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but in a pandemic year, nothing is ordinary. As flu cases rise, COVID cases creep higher, too. Earlier in the week, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said they’ve seen cases increase by 50 percent in the last couple of weeks. She is strongly urging people to mask indoors, as the Omicron BA2 variant moves through the area.

"Every 108 days, you see an increase in COVID, a different variant coming out and that’s what we see now," Dr. Sztejman explained. He says it’s wise to take precautions.

"We need to be smart about it. It’s not wrong to wear a mask. If you feel comfy wearing a mask, I encourage people to continue doing so, especially if you are immunocompromised or have underlying heart or lung issues," Dr. Sztejman added.



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