Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses that affect the lungs and breathing and can easily spread to others. Each year, 5-20 percent of the American population contracts the flu virus, of which 200,000 are hospitalized as a result.
Flu season typically begins in the fall, and this year’s coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly complicate things. If there is a flu outbreak in a location that is also experiencing a lot of COVID cases, it could overwhelm hospitals and make it difficult for doctors and nurses to care for a sudden surge of sick patients.
Can you have the flu and COVID at the same time?
While there is still more to be learned about the novel coronavirus, it is possible to be infected with both the flu and COVID at the same time. Unfortunately this could lead to an even more severe illness than having either infection alone. Our specialists at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) is preparing for this year’s cold and flu season with tests that can look for both influenza and COVID virus at the same time.
How can I protect my family and myself during the cold & flu season?
As we enter the eighth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s increasingly important to continue following the coronavirus healthy and safety precautions like frequent hand washing, cleaning, sanitizing, physically distancing and wearing a mask. Here are a few more ways you can protect yourself during the cold and flu season:
- Get a flu shot
This is the year to get a flu shot, particularly if you usually skip getting them.
- Get your kids flu shots
Children over six months should get annual flu shots and any other vaccinations they need. Check with your child’s doctor or pediatrician to learn more about maintaining routine vaccinations for babies and children—especially during the pandemic.
- Boost your immune system
Take care of yourself and your children with good nutrition, plenty of water and rest, daily exercise and stress management. And always stay home if you don’t feel well.
Even if you’re tired of following coronavirus precautions, it’s vital to keep up the good work and encourage your family to do the same. Maintaining these habits throughout this year’s cold & flu season will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other fall and winter illnesses as well.
Call PVHC at 909-378-9513 to find out where and how you can get your flu vaccine. We look forward to keeping you healthy with safe, effective flu vaccines at all five of our locations: Chino Hills, Claremont, Chino Hills Crossroads, Pomona and La Verne.