Mark Your Calendar for this Important Protection
Although COVID-19 has dominated the headlines for months, we can’t forget about the annual risk of the seasonal flu. The CDC will observe National Flu Vaccination Week from Dec. 6-12, reminding people across the US that it’s not too late for seniors to protect themselves from the dangers and complications of the flu. Vaccination is especially important for protecting people at high risk of complications, including adults 65 years and older and anyone with chronic health conditions.
With COVID-19 stealing the headlines, it’s easy to ignore the danger of influenza, which can also cause serious harm and even death for the most vulnerable in our communities. While both can be dangerous, there are some key differences between the flu and COVID-19.
Although researchers are still discovering new information about COVID-19, evidence shows that it not only spreads more easily than the flu but causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for a much longer period of time. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 and flu:
|Days to show symptoms after exposure||1-4||2-14 days|
|Fever or Chills||X||X|
|Muscle or Body Aches||X||X|
|Runny or Stuffy Nose||X|
|Shortness of Breath/Difficulty Breathing||X|
|Loss of Smell or Taste||X|
Quick and easy-access testing centers are available in most communities. These vital community resources are key for those who are ill with these symptoms to determine their cause of illness and how to prevent the spread. You do not need to guess, get tested.
One of the most important differences between COVID-19 and the flu is that there is a vaccine to protect against flu. Today, flu shots formulated specially for adults over age 65 are widely available, and this high-dose shot is proven to be 25% more effective in preventing the flu in seniors. Getting an annual flu shot is the single most effective way to prevent sickness or hospitalization from the seasonal flu.
Finally, it’s important to dispel one of the newest myths about the flu shot. Scientists say the flu shot does not make you more susceptible to COVID-19. There is a two-year-old study circulating that says the flu shot could be linked to increased risk of seasonal coronaviruses—the viruses that cause the common cold. But seasonal coronaviruses are nothing like COVID-19.
Keeping our vulnerable populations safe will save many lives as we go through this difficult time together. If you know a senior that needs help, give us a call at 888-455-5838. We are one call away and offer many solutions to problems seniors, families and senior caregivers face every day.