Tips to protect yourself from the flu and COVID-19
With the flu season upon us and the COVID-19 pandemic continuing throughout the country, it’s more important than ever to know how to protect yourself from harmful viruses.
If you contract a respiratory virus, you’ll need to determine as soon as possible if it’s related to the flu or COVID-19 so that you receive the proper care.
Being prepared and keeping up with the latest information and guidelines can be your best defense this flu season.
How are COVID-19 and the Flu Similar?
COVID-19 and the flu are viral respiratory infections that are transmitted similarly, either through airborne droplets containing the virus or by touching contaminated surfaces. Both present related symptoms such as:
- Dry cough
Distinctions Between COVID-19 and the Flu
Although the flu and COVID-19 are respiratory infections, the same viruses do not cause them. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says there are some key differences between the flu and COVID-19 and recommends the following tips to help you tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19:
1. Look at the symptoms
Some symptoms are more prevalent in cases of COVID-19, such as:
- Sore throat
- Breathing difficulties or shortness of breath
- Runny or stuffy nose.
A dry cough is often more severe with COVID-19 than the flu. A sudden loss of taste or smell is a unique symptom of COVID-19 not found in cases of the flu.
Muscle or body aches can appear in both illnesses, but aches are frequently more severe in the flu.
2. Look at the onset of symptoms
COVID-19 and the flu differ in how quickly symptoms begin. Flu symptoms usually appear very suddenly, while COVID-19 symptoms generally develop over the course of a few days. COVID-19 symptoms are more likely to come and go, or suddenly worsen.
3. Get tested
The only way to know for sure if have the flu, COVID-19, or another ailment is through a test conducted by a medical professional. If you develop any of these symptoms, call us at (800)555-9955 and request a COVID-19 and an influenza flu test – especially if you have an underlying medical conditions such as lung injury, diabetes, or heart disease.
Seek medical attention immediately if you are exhibiting serious symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Persistent chest pain or pressure
- Difficulty waking
- Blue coloration of the lips or face
These symptoms can quickly become life-threatening.
While this flu season is more complicated than ever, you can help keep yourself safe by practicing social distancing, washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and wearing a mask.
For extra protection against the flu, contact us and talk to your doctor to ask if a flu shot is recommended or needed. Also, make sure all other vaccines — especially the pneumococcal vaccine — are up to date.