Preparing for flu season during a pandemic

Thanks to a global pandemic, this world has changed in more ways than one. However, something that has not changed is flu season. Influenza is still very much a cause for concern this winter, and can be even more alarming this year as it shares the stage with COVID-19. It is more important than ever to know how to stay safe during flu season and protect yourself from illness. 

Know the difference between the two

Both the coronavirus and the flu are respiratory illnesses. They share similar symptoms such as: 

  • Fever and chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Sore throat

  • Runny and stuffy nose

  • Body aches and pain

  • Headaches

However, there are some differences you can watch out for. Flu can cause mild to severe cases of the above listed symptoms, with more serious cases leading to pneumonia and hospitalization. An important difference to note is that a fever does not always accompany the flu. COVID-19 has been found to cause more serious complications in patients, and is almost always accompanied with a fever. Another sympotm that points to the coronavirus and not the flu is the loss of taste or smell. 

Avoid getting sick

As COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, the need to avoid getting sick is imperative. Both the flu and the coronavirus are spread most often through infected droplets and particles in the air. 

A flu outbreak in a location that is already experiencing high COVID-19 numbers could be deadly. As people get infected with both illnesses, hospitals and healthcare workers could get overwhelmed. 

Take precautions

Influenza and COVID-19 can both be very harmful diseases. In knowing how to stay safe during flu season, it is crucial to take these precautions to best keep yourself and loved ones safe: 

  1. Get vaccinated: While there is no vaccine approved yet for the coronavirus, there is a flu shot that the CDC recommends everyone over the age of six months to get. The flu vaccine has had studies done that prove it to not only reduce the risk of catching the flu, but also helping to decrease the severity of symptoms if you do catch it. 

  2. Stay vigilant: Thanks to all of our pandemic preparedness training and prep, we’ve all been washing our hands excessively and wearing face masks for months. The middle of flu season is not the time to start slacking on those practices. Avoid people who are sick, stay away from crowds, clean high touch surfaces as much as possible and keep on doing what you have been doing. 

  3. Call a doctor: If you do feel yourself coming down with something, do not hesitate to call your doctor. They will best be able to diagnose your symptoms and can let you know if you need to be tested for COVID-19 or the flu. If you are experiencing life threatening symptoms, they are best equipped to tell you what next steps to take and if you should go to the emergency room or not. 

  4. Keep medicine handy: There are a number of over the counter medications that you can keep on hand to help alleviate some of the pain from symptoms that develop from both diseases. Nasal decongestants, cough suppressants and fever reducers are all good medications to keep in your medicine cabinet. Taking these medications does not guarantee to make your illness go away but they can help you feel more normal. 

Civil Dispatch

We can help you to learn how to stay safe during flu season and also how to stay safe during other emergency scenarios. Civil Dispatch offers services that can help you with prepping for any type of crisis situation. We make being prepared easy! Sign up today!

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