The flu has many signs and symptoms that are very similar to other viruses. Below, we will discuss common symptoms of the flu along with other commonly asked questions. If you have any further questions, please reach out to your DPCA provider for more information and to better prepare yourself for this flu season.
When is flu season in the United States?
Flu season is most common in the fall and winter with vaccinations beginning as early as October. The peak for flu activity is between December and February. Some flu seasons can extend as late as May.
How can I prevent the flu?
The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine each season. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months or older. There are a variety of flu vaccines available, so it is recommended that you speak to your doctor to make the best decision for you.
If you decide not to get the flu vaccine, there are other simple steps you can take that prevent the spread of the flu. A few examples include washing your hands often, avoiding touching your face with your hands, and staying home when you don’t feel well.
How is the flu spread?
Similarly, to COVID-19, the flu is spread mainly from person to person. This can be through coughing, sneezing, or talking. It is also possible to touch something with the flu virus on it and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.
What are the common flu symptoms?
Common flu symptoms include:
- Aching muscles
- Cough or sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Chills or sweats
- Nausea, vomiting, and or/ diarrhea
When should you see a doctor?
Often, people who get the flu can treat themselves at home and do not have to visit a doctor. However, if your flu symptoms continue to worsen, we would recommend you see your doctor as soon as possible. For adults, signs and symptoms of an emergency can include:
- Chest pain
- Severe weakness or muscle pain
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Ongoing dizziness
- Worsening of existing medical conditions
If I get the flu vaccine, can I still get the flu?
Yes, you can still get the flu even if you have the flu vaccine. However, the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu and can reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Are there side effects to the flu vaccine?
The side effects are mild and short-lasting compared to the symptoms of a bad case of flu. The main side effect of the flu vaccine is tenderness of the injection site for a few days after the injection. Some people will experience a mild fever or fatigue for a day or two following the immunization. Other side effects would include cold-like symptoms including cough, sore throat, weakness, irritability, and muscle aches.
Can I get the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
Yes, the CDC says you can receive both vaccines at the same time. You do not have to spread out vaccinations.
Will the flu vaccine prevent COVID-19?
No, the flu vaccine will not prevent COVID, however, it can lower your risk of getting severely ill from COVID by preventing severe flu illness. People are able to get both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time and these individuals are at a higher risk of severe illness.
Do you still have further questions regarding the flu? Reach out to your healthcare provider for more information or contact us at DirectPCA.com.