The CDC recently warned that this fall and winter could be the worst ever for public health because to the simultaneous threat of influenza and COVID-19. The best approach to be healthy and safe at this winter is to understand the viruses, their similarities and distinctions, and what you can do to protect yourself.
COVID vs. FLU
Because many flu and COVID-19 symptoms are identical, testing may be required to help establish a diagnosis. So, here are some parallels and distinctions to be aware of.
For starters, seasonal flu symptoms appear immediately, whereas COVID-19 symptoms build gradually over days and can diminish or worsen. Fever, sore throat, muscle aches, cough, headache, lethargy, and even chest pain are all common. COVID-19 causes pinkeye and a dry cough, while the flu causes fever, diarrhea, and nausea.
Nowadays, many people take their temperature before going out in public. But only 50% of COVID-19 sufferers had fever. Fever does not exclude COVID-19, but it does exclude flu.
The flu rarely causes a runny or stuffy nose, but COVID-19 may. COVID-19 can cause loss of smell and, as a result, taste.
Visit CDC.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vscovid19.htm to discover more about the similarities and differences between flu and COVID-19.
While there is no vaccine for COVID-19, avoiding exposure to the virus is the best approach to avoid sickness. So, try to stay at home. Must wear mask and maintain at least 6 feet away from others. And when you get home, wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap.
There's also evidence that those with low vitamin D levels are more prone to COVID-19 than those with high levels. So take 800-1000 IUs of vitamin D everyday from diet or supplements, and walk outside as often as you can.
To help protect against the flu this year, you might consider receiving a flu vaccination targeted for seniors. There are two options for further protection beyond the conventional flu shot: “Fluzone High Dose Quadrivalent” and “FLUAD Quadrivalent”. You only need one flu vaccination, and you should get it now since immunity takes up to two weeks to develop.
Vaccines for Pneumonia
If you haven't had a pneumococcal vaccine, you should obtain one. Both flu and COVID-19 can cause pneumonia, which hospitalizes and kills roughly 250,000 Americans each year. But these figures could rise this year.
The CDC advises all seniors 65 and older to obtain Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23. To maximize protection, both immunizations are given one year apart.
Part B of Medicare covers flu and pneumonia vaccines.
Visit VaccineFinder.org and enter your zip code to find a vaccination site near you.