Preparing for the Flu Season 

 October 6, 2020

By  Dr. Joy Lasseter

With all the focus on the Pandemic let’s not forget about the Flu.

Yes, this Fall and Winter will be the peak of the Flu season again. The Flu we experience every year is a virus. This year the A strains of the Flu have outpaced the B strains as the biggest cases of infections. This could create a double peak of Flu infections. This also occurred last year. 

Unfortunately, this means you could get one strain of the Flu, recover, then a few weeks later, get the other strain of the Flu. The Flu shots have protection against both Strain A and B. The statistics for the CDC indicate that Flu activity in the United States is high and widespread. There are some cases of deaths in children. However, the highest rate of hospitalizations is in adults over 65. 

What is the difference between a common cold and the Flu?

Both are respiratory illnesses. They are caused by different viruses. Both have similar symptoms. Symptom onset of a cold is gradual, with Flu it is abrupt. Fever is rare with the cold but usual with the Flu. Aches are slight with a cold and usual with the Flu. Chills are uncommon with a cold and fairly common with the Flu. Fatigue and weakness sometimes occur with a cold but are usual with the Flu. Sneezing is common with a cold but occasional with the Flu. Chest discomfort and coughing are mild to moderate with a cold and common with the Flu. Stuffy nose is common with a cold but occasional with the Flu. Sore throat is common with a cold but occasional with the Flu. Headache is rare with a cold but common with the Flu.

How do Covid 19 symptoms compare to Flu symptoms? 

Both are respiratory illnesses. They are caused by different viruses. Many of the symptoms are similar. But our body has not had years to adapt to the Covid 19 virus, so the symptoms are more severe and dangerous. Much is still being learned from the doctors and scientists. 

Covid has already mutated and has created several different strains. You can recover from one strain and later catch another one with no apparent transferred immunity. Symptoms may occur from 2 to 14 days after exposure

If you have these symptoms get checked right away. Don’t wait: 

Fevers, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. 

Note – This list doesn’t include all the symptoms. Updates happen frequently as more are discovered. Source: Covid, Flu and Cold info is from www.CDC.gov

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