This flu season, help protect yourself, your family and your community from flu by getting vaccinated. The CDC believes it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading this flu season. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever this flu season.
Everyone is at risk of catching the flu but there are some people that are at higher risk for mortality and more serious complications if they get the flu. Many of the people who are high risk from flu are also at high risk of COVID-19, so in order to decrease their risk of severe illness, vaccination is especially important for these higher-risk groups.
WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK?
- Adults 65 years and older
- Pregnant Women
- Anyone who has
- Heart Disease
- Chronic Kidney Disease
What is the difference between Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19?
Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Med First has the diagnostic testing that can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.
Signs and Symptoms
Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. For both COVID-19 and flu, one or more days can pass between a person becoming infected and when he or she starts to experience illness symptoms. Both COVID-19 and flu can spread from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Both are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the illness cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and Flu share include:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
While COVID-19 and flu viruses are thought to spread in similar ways, COVID-19 is more contagious among certain populations and age groups than flu. Also, COVID-19 has been observed to have more superspreading events than flu. This means the virus that causes COVID-19 can quickly and easily spread to a lot of people and result in continuous spreading among people as time progresses. The risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19.
Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including the common signs and symptoms listed above. Typically, a person develops symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection. Most people with flu are contagious for about 1 day before they show symptoms. Older children and adults with flu appear to be most contagious during the initial 3-4 days of their illness but many remain contagious for about 7 days. Most people who get the flu will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will occasionally develop complications.
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include a change in or loss of taste or smell. Typically, a person develops symptoms 5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary. It’s possible for people to spread the virus for about 2 days before experiencing signs or symptoms and remain contagious for at least 10 days after signs or symptoms first appeared. Additional complications associated with COVID-19 can include blood clots in the veins and arteries of the lungs, heart, legs, or brain and multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children.
Can I have Flu and COVID-19 at the same time?
Yes. It is possible have flu and COVID-19 at the same time but health experts are still studying how common this can be.
Getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, however, getting a flu vaccine has many other important benefits such as reducing the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.
Additionally, prior infection with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or flu does not protect you from future flu infections. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. This year, CDC is recommending vaccines be administered by the end of October.
For FAQ about COVID-19 and Flu go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. Getting your annual flu shot at Med First is a quick and convenient way to help protect yourself from the flu and prevent the spread of the flu. For your convenience, you can schedule your flu vaccine by calling your nearest location, requesting an appointment online, or simply walking in. We also offer extended hours at many locations, so schedule yours and your family’s flu vaccine today!