WATCH: Dr. Ed Dominguez talks flu vs. coronavirus, handwashing vs. sanitizer

Infectious disease specialist speaks about COVID-19 on East Texas Now
Dr. Ed Dominguez spoke with KLTV's Blake Holland on East Texas Now.
Dr. Ed Dominguez spoke with KLTV's Blake Holland on East Texas Now.(East Texas Now)
Updated: Mar. 9, 2020 at 6:53 PM CDT
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TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - During an interview on East Texas Now, KLTV medical contributor Dr. Ed Dominguez, who is an infectious disease specialist, spoke about the comparison between COVID-19 and influenza.

“In terms of sheer numbers of people that are affected or even passing away from the infection, influenza, which is a preventable or at least controllable infection with treatment, still remains the focus of everybody’s concern on the public health front " Dominguez said.

Dominguez says the latest numbers still show far more Americans have died from influenza than COVID-19.

“As the numbers stand today, there are tens of thousands of people in the United States that have had or have influenza A or B, as opposed to less than 600 with the novel coronavirus. Now those numbers clearly are going to change over time. Hopefully the number of Americans will never reach that flu number.”

Dominguez said differences include the fact that there is a vaccine and anti-viral medication for the flu, while there is currently not for COVID-19.

When it comes to symptoms, Dominguez said flu symptoms appear to be far worse than the novel coronavirus. He said the top concern is for older people.

“It can be indistinguishable because they can get sick from both of these viruses to the same degree," Dominguez said. "And it’s the older people, those over 65, that seem more likely to die from coronavirus infection, which is also true for the flu.”

And when it comes to that nationwide rush to buy hand sanitizer, Dominguez said old fashioned hand washing works just as well, if not better.

“Hand sanitizers are great. They have alcohol in them and they work against this virus. And they work against a lot of different things, even though there are some things they don’t work against. But you know what works against almost everything as well? Soap and water.”

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About Dr. Ed

Edward A. Dominguez, MD, FACP, FIDSA received his Doctor of Medicine degree at Baylor College of Medicine in 1986. After completing internship, residency, and a Chief Residency at Baylor, he pursued a three-year Infectious Disease Research Fellowship under the direction of Drs. Dan Musher, Robert Couch, and Steven Greenberg, also at Baylor.Ed then moved to the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha as a tenure tract faculty member in 1992, also serving on the faculty of Creighton University School of Medicine. While there, his primary clinical research interests involved infections in solid-organ transplant recipients. In 2001, Ed returned to Texas and co-founded East Texas Infectious Disease Consultants in Tyler. In 2008, he was appointed Medical Director, Organ Transplant Infectious Diseases at Methodist Health System in Dallas, Texas.

Ed is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He has been named to Best Doctors in America since 1996. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and a Delegate of the American Board of Internal Medicine.He served on the Board of Directors for the Smith County Medical Society for four years and on several councils of the Texas Medical Association over that same period. Until his departure from Tyler, he was on the Editorial Board of East Texas Medicine, a regional non-peer reviewed journal. He is Trustee Emeritus of his undergraduate alma mater, Rice University in Houston, Texas. Ed consults and speaks globally on a variety of infectious disease topics.

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