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A Cold, The Flu or COVID-19? (11/30/2020)

November 30,2020


Dear Community, California has reported more COVID-19 patients in state hospitals now than at any other point during the pandemic. With this recent spike in COVID19 cases, along with the current influenza season, health officials are urging the public to adhere to all of the safety measures to help contain the spread of influenza and avoid another outbreak amid the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

These safety measures include: sanitizing hands, wearing masks, physical distancing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick.

Below are some FAQ's on the seasonal flu & COVID19.

How will I be able to tell if I have the flu or if I have COVID-19? Symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can range from mild to severe. It's very hard to distinguish between the two illnesses, and there are a lot of overlapping symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Sore throat

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Muscle pain or body aches

  • Headache

What should I do if I develop symptoms that could be related to the flu or COVID-19? If you develop the overlapping symptoms, it's going to be important to recognize early that you could have either illness, to be aware of what symptoms you've been experiencing, and to determine when to seek testing or medical care. You should isolate yourself for at least 10 days or until your symptoms resolve or you see your doctor. It will be important not only to care for yourself but to protect those around you. Where can I safely get the flu shot during the pandemic? Vaccines should be available at your physician's office or pharmacies.

Will the flu shot offer any protection against COVID-19? Unfortunately, it will not because the flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses. Vaccines are designed to help you develop immunity to the components of a specific virus. Potential vaccines for COVID-19 are still in development.

Is it possible to have COVID-19 and the flu at the same time? If so, what do I do? Yes. It is possible to have both illnesses — and other respiratory infections — at the same time. Contact your doctor if you experience symptoms related to either illness. How long can someone spread the virus? For both COVID-19 and flu, it’s possible to spread the virus for at least 1 day before experiencing any symptoms. If a person has COVID-19, they may be contagious for a longer period of time than if they had flu.

Getting your annual flu shot is one of the most effective ways to help protect yourself, your family and your community. Flu vaccines can reduce the severity of the illness and reduce the need for hospitalization, which is critical while we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic.

Symptoms currently found to be unique to COVID-19 are changes in—or loss of—taste or smell.

If you develop overlapping symptoms, it is important to:

  • Recognize early that you could have either illness

  • Be aware of your symptoms

  • Determine when to seek testing or medical care

You should isolate yourself for at least 10 days or until your symptoms resolve. If your symptoms do not improve, or you are feeling worse, call your doctor. You can be tested for both COVID-19 and the flu. Every person has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense.

To read more about COVID19, visit the below links: https://www.cdc.go


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