Get a flu shot : Covid and flu symptoms are very similar

What will happen when we get colds and the flu and start coughing or sneezing? Will everyone near you run away? Getting your flu shot can help! I can’t remember the last time I heard the sounds of either one after Covid came, so I don’t know what will happen. Many people move away now when another person does not wear a face mask. Updated 10-14-20

Do you want to risk getting the flu and having to go to a hospital with a lot of very sick Covid patients? Covid and flu symptoms are very similar. Public health experts are very worried about hospitals being packed with both flu and Covid patients. Only about 40% of people get the annual flu shot. Getting both Covid and the flu, although unlikely, would be a nightmare! 410,000 flu hospitalizations in 2019-2020.

When should you get your flu shot?

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said people should get a flu shot no later than the end of October.

When is Flu Season?

In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May. Source: CDC

For the flu, CDC estimates that, from October 1, 2019, through April 4, 2020, (typical time of flu outbreaks) there were:
– Deaths: 22,000 (24,000 – 62,000 is the ypical annual range for flu deaths)
– Hospitalizations: 400,000 (typical range is410,000 – 740,000)
– Doctor visit: 18 million (39 to 56 million typical range)
– 38 million sick
Click here CDC estimate to read more

Young, healthy people can be hospitalized with the flu – a personal example
In January 2020 a friend of mine was hospitalized with pneumonia caused by the flu. He is in his early 30s and was in the hospital for a week. After a few days at home, he returned to the hospital for a few more days. He had never been a patient in a hospital and was scared. He fully recovered fortunately.

Lots more detail in this article, link below, including what will happen when the flu and Covid are both attacking humans. The well written and understandable article covers many issues with references and citations.

Composite image below (Covid on the left, Flu on the right).

The flu shots only last about 6 months. Since I usually get the flu around March, I decided to wait until October. Dr. Fauci said he gets his shot “toward the middle and end of October.” He said this is an “unofficial” suggestion. “I wouldn’t necessarily get it now, in September, because there is evidence that, in fact, the immunity might wear off when you get to February and early March,” he said.

Lots more detail in the article below, including what will happen when the flu and Covid are both attacking humans:

Will there be fewer flu infections this year?

In some Southern Hemisphere countries, such as Australia and South Africa, there were relatively few flu infections. Wearing face masks and social distancing made a difference.

For many years, during flu season, I never touched any door knobs or shook hands. I learned to do this as an appraiser going inside people’s homes. Two years ago I shook hands at a meeting and was unable to wash my hands immediately. I had a bad flu that lasted for over 3 weeks. I started carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer with me at all times.

This year, I will add wearing a face mask, except inside my home, and practice social distancing. It makes a difference

How effective is the flu vaccine?

In the 2019-2020 flu season, the flu vaccine was 45% effective. While vaccine effectiveness can vary, recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine. Source: CDC with lots of information.

Similarities and differences between Covid and flu

Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Covid and flu symptoms are very similar.

Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

Source for Differences between Covid and flu

• Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, including common signs and symptoms listed above.

• Other signs and symptoms of COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.

Source for more information (CDC)

Flu risk for people over 65

It has been recognized for many years that people 65 years and older are at high risk of developing serious complications from flu compared with young, healthy adults. This risk is due in part to changes in immune defenses with increasing age.

While flu seasons vary in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease. In recent years, for example, it’s estimated that between 70 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older, and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in this age group.

Recommended is a high dose flu vaccine (Fluzone® High-Dose) that contains 4 times the amount of antigen as a regular flu shot. The additional antigen creates a stronger immune response (more antibody) in the person getting vaccinated. Or, An adjuvanted vaccine (FLUAD™) is a standard dose flu vaccine with an adjuvant added. An adjuvant is an ingredient added to a vaccine to help create a stronger immune response to vaccination. Source for more information (CDC)

I will definitely get the “senior” flu shot in mid-October. I am 77 years old and at increased risk for both Covid and the seasonal flu.

Can you get Covid and the flu at the same time?

“You can certainly get both the flu and Covid-19 at the same time, which could be catastrophic to your immune system,” said Dr. Adrian Burrowes, a family medicine physician in Florida.

In fact, getting infected with one can make you more vulnerable to getting sick with the other, epidemiologist Dr. Seema Yasmin said.

“Once you get infected with the flu and some other respiratory viruses, it weakens your body,” said Yasmin, director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative.

Reference
https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/11/health/covid-flu-together-health-impact/index.html

My personal, very scary experience

In August, I woke up feeling very tired, coughing, sore throat, muscle pain, and headache. My first thought was COVID!! My doctor was out of town, I could not remember the Covid symptoms, etc. I was very scared. After a while, I finally got up and turned on my air filtering for my bad allergies. It was red. Of course, the darn Covid symptoms are similar to allergies too.

Lots more detail in this article, including what will happen when the flu and Covid are both attacking humans:

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