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Influenza (Flu) season is on our doorstep, but this season is different than what we’ve experienced in previous years. The main difference is that we are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever to protect yourself and those around you from getting sick. You should talk with a healthcare provider to determine what vaccines are best for you. Although a vaccine has not yet been approved for COVID-19, flu vaccines can help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is recommended to receive your flu shots before the end of October. To find flu shot locations near you, please check with your local clinic and pharmacies.
The flu and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are separate illnesses and are caused by different viruses. It can be hard to tell the difference between them because some of the symptoms are similar. Here are some common symptoms:
Fever or feeling feverish/chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle pain or body aches
Vomiting and diarrhea*
Change in or loss of taste or smell
This table does not include all symptoms. If you are not feeling well and are experiencing symptoms that are not in this table, contact a health care provider.
*Some people with the flu or COVID-19 may experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Fortunately, all of the recommendations that we have been following to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will also help prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory illnesses like pneumonia. Additionally, we recommend you talk to a healthcare or vaccine provider about your options for vaccines. Here are some of the steps you can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of these illnesses:
If you are experiencing symptoms listed in the table above, stay home and follow these steps: