Flu Season and COVID-19

Contributed by Brandi Fitch

 

Flu season is an even more important topic this year as COVID-19 lingers over the community. Many individuals who are at high risk for getting COVID-19 are also at risk for getting the flu. While a flu shot won’t protect you from COVID-19, it can greatly decrease your chance of getting the flu as well as conserve medical resources for the care of individuals with COVID-19. According to the CDC, at least 410,000 people were hospitalized from the flu last year.  

The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months should receive a flu vaccine before the end of October. Those at higher risk of serious flu complications include:

  • Young children
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease
  • Individuals who are 65 years and older

You can also take every day preventative action that can help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Be sure to:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated

Find more information from the CDC on how to fight the flu here. WellSpan Health also offers tips on how to fight the flu in this flyer (Spanish version). If you’re struggling to encourage your children or students to wash their hands to prevent the flu, check out some of WellSpan Health’s flyers here (Spanish version).

Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills, and fatigue. If you believe that you have flu symptoms, check in with your doctor immediately if you are in at high risk for serious complications. Find more information from the CDC on how to treat the flu here.

It’s also important to remember that COVID-19 is still here in the community after 6 months and will continue to stay if we don’t make the necessary changes to stop the spread. For more information from local experts about how to safely navigate the ongoing COVID-19, check out the Franklin Forward FAQs PSA video series featuring local medical experts and officials:

  • What is the purpose of a mask? Why should I have to wear one? What exactly does it mean to be in the Green Phase, and how are businesses and services operating? Click here.
  • What will happen if our positive COVID case numbers increase drastically? Will we be shut down again? When can I feel comfortable having extended family or friends visit my home? Click here.
  • What are the differences between COVID and the common flu and why are we treating COVID differently? Click here.
  • What guidelines are being used by school leaders and how are they being implemented to safely re-open schools? Click here.
  • ¿Cuál es el propósito de una máscara? ¿Por qué debería usar una? ¿Qué más podemos hacer para prevenir la propagación de COVID-19 en la comunidad hispana? Click here.