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The Flu Is Nothing To Sneeze At

While COVID-19 has gotten everyone’s attention this year, we also need to consider that influenza (flu) season is right around the corner. In the US, flu season runs from October through May, and it should not be taken lightly. Each year, tens of thousands of people are hospitalized and even lose their lives to the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us that getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself, your family and your community from flu. This is especially important for those in high risk groups, where flu can lead to serious complications.


Groups identified by the CDC to be at highest risk for experiencing seasonal flu-related complications if not vaccinated include:

  • Parents of young children
  • Pregnant women
  • Adults ages 50 and older
  • People with chronic medical conditions, like heart disease, diabetes and asthma
  • Health care workers
  • People who live with or care for high-risk individuals
  • Caregivers of and those who live with infants younger than 6 months.

Many people at higher risk from flu also seem to be at higher risk from COVID-19. If you are at high risk, it is especially important for you to get a flu vaccine this year


Common symptoms of seasonal flu include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting.

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. To confirm a diagnosis, testing may be needed.

Most people with the flu will recover within 1 to 2 weeks and only need non-prescription treatment of symptoms. If you have severe symptoms of the flu or if you have a chronic medical condition that affects your heart or lungs, you should contact your health care provider. Antiviral medications may help, but they must be started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms in order to be effective.

In addition to vaccination, good health habits can help prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory illnesses. Click here for 8 Things To Do To Stop The Flu.

Flu vaccines are now available at North Oaks at these locations

For more articles about this year's flu season, please visit our Flu Season blog.