As the fall and winter months approach, it is crucial we all do our part to keep our respiratory and immune systems in check. While flu season can last well into late spring, it typically spikes in the fall and is known to peak between December and February. That being said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging individuals to take action to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and another deadly flu season.
In preparation for colder weather, the CDC recommends:
- Getting the flu vaccine. According to the CDC, your best, healthiest option is to schedule your flu shot for late September or early October. The flu shot is available at your doctor’s office, local pharmacy, community health center, or pop-up sites.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick and staying at home if you experience any common symptoms of the flu or COVID-19.
- Practicing social distancing and wearing a protective face covering when out in public.
- Washing your hands often using soap and warm water to protect against germs. If necessary, use hand sanitizer that’s been approved for use.
- Getting plenty of sleep, staying active and hydrated, and consuming a nutritious diet to keep your immune system strong.
Betty Long, Founder and CEO of Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates, knows the enormous toll the flu often takes on our healthcare system and is emphasizing the importance of doing what you can this season, to reduce the chances of contracting the sickness. Click here to learn more about the CDC’s prevention recommendations for both the flu and COVID-19.
In addition to taking action, we encourage you to understand the differences and similarities of the flu and the coronavirus. The flu and COVID-19 both affect the respiratory system. Therefore, it can be confusing to determine whether you have contracted the flu or the COVID-19 virus. According to the CDC, the most common COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat or cough
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Headache or fatigue
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
If you believe you have the flu or COVID-19, it is essential you call your doctor and explain your symptoms before going to a facility to seek care. Doing so will ensure you receive the care you need without spreading either illness.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy. Information provided by Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates.