Flu Symptom and Vaccine Information Season Is Coming
Every fall and winter flu symptoms and vaccine information are hot topics of conversations and importance. The flu virus rises in prevalence and spreads across the country, affecting millions every year. Flu season usually starts in October and November, reaching a peak around January, and sometimes can last until May. Flu season carries an extra level of seriousness this year, as the United States is still battling against the spread of COVID-19. It is important that you keep up to date information on flu symptoms, flu vaccines, and how the flu season relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flu Symptom Similarities between the Flu and COVID-19
Both the flu and COVID-19 are respiratory viruses that can be spread from person to person contact. The flu and COVID-19 can have a varied effect on it’s host, ranging from severe symptoms to no symptoms (asymptomatic). The flu and COVID-19 share the following symptoms: Fever or feeling feverish/chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue (tiredness), Sore throat, Runny or stuffy nose, Muscle pain or body aches, and Headache. The one known symptom that is unique to COVID-19 is a change or loss in taste or smell. Typically, if you have the flu virus, symptoms will appear as soon as one day after exposure. The COVID-19 virus symptoms can take longer to appear, sometimes up to five days. While the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, it is important to receive the flu vaccine so that you do not become infected with the flu virus, and then compromise your immune system. For a comprehensive list of similarities and differences between the flu and COVID-19 that we know of so far, visit the CDC website.
Flu Vaccine Information: General Facts
Every year, medical professionals develop a new flu vaccine as the virus continues to develop and mutate. It is important to keep a lookout for when the vaccine is released, and that you are vaccinated every year to help prevent flu virus infection. Here are some general facts that are important to know about the flu vaccine:
- The flu vaccine will not give you the flu virus. The flu vaccine injects your muscle with an inactive gene of the virus to trigger an immune system response with antibodies. Some people may feel an onset of flu-like symptoms after receiving the virus, but it is not the flu.
- The flu shot does not always protect you, but it does help boost immunity. Recent studies by the CDC say that the flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60%.
- The flu virus does not ‘kick’ in immediately. It can take up to two weeks to develop antibodies, so it is important to get your flu shot around the beginning of October before the peak of the season.
- Even if you were infected with the flu earlier in the year, you still need to receive the flu vaccine. You can become infected again with the flu in the same year.
- For more general facts about the flu, check out the CDC website, or Meridian Health.
We at Lifeline Health keep your health and safety at a top priority. We are currently developing distribution tactics for the flu vaccine at our testing sites. For updates on our testing/vaccine offerings, visit our website.
Flu Symptoms and Vaccine Information Sources: