This year, COVID-19 and influenza are likely to create an especially troubling fall 2020 season. The specific issue that healthcare providers have identified is that many patients may soon flock to get flu shots in order to reduce the potential for seasonal illness, as well as determine the difference between COVID-19 and flu symptoms.
Both viruses can spread rapidly in local communities of all sizes. The infection rate for seasonal illnesses skyrockets in the fall. Even though social distancing practices are implemented in schools, workplaces, and businesses there still could be a sharp rise in flu and COVID-19 cases.
This year’s flu season is particularly complex. If you’re not entirely sure where to begin then it may first help to weigh your prevention and treatment options first. Knowing where to get preventive care and how to do so can help families avoid staggering cold, flu, and possible COVID symptoms.
Cold and flu symptoms are similar to COVID-19 symptoms
Many patients are likely to confuse COVID-19 symptoms with flu symptoms this year because both types of viruses have the same conditions.
For example, both COVID-19 and flu symptoms include the following:
However, it is important to know that COVID-19 symptoms are usually more intense and longer lasting than flu symptoms. Influenza symptoms can last for a week while COVID-19 symptoms can last for upwards two weeks for serious conditions.
Be careful when assessing both flu and COVID-19 symptoms
Since COVID-19 symptoms and flu symptoms are similar, patients need to assess their symptoms accurately. The good news is that specific risk factors are more likely to cause COVID-specific symptoms over flu-specific symptoms. Risk factors such as gathering in large public groups, contact with an infected COVID-19 patient (with a confirmed case), and recent travel to a COVID-19 hotspot are all risk factors that are attributed to flu symptoms.
Patients that have maintained social distancing guidelines and avoided COVID-19 risks likely have the flu or a common cold.
Flu symptoms are preventable with vaccines and actions
Patients that need to get a flu shot should be able to book at an urgent care center whenever they require care. AFC Urgent Care Castle Rock will soon offer flu shots to help patients get key vaccinations.
Additionally, flu prevention is fairly straightforward with patients needing to frequently wash their hands, cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and maintaining proper personal hygiene. A patient needs to avoid gatherings and hotspots where the flu can spread while also using common sense to prevent germs from spreading.