What to Expect this Flu Season

As family medicine doctors and professionals, we highly encourage all of our patients and their families anyone 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine.

This year’s flu season is off to a unique start. We now have two viruses to think about: COVID-19 and Influenza. We understand that this can be a stressful time as families settle into the school year along with extra curricular activities. However, getting your flu shot is the best thing you and your family can do to ensure your safety this flu season. As family medicine doctors and professionals, we highly encourage all of our patients and their families anyone 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine.

Benefits of the 2020 Season Flu Shot

The benefits of getting the flu shot are many.

  • Reduces your chance of being diagnosed with the flu
  • Minimizes symptoms of the flu
  • Lowers the incidence of becoming hospitalized from flu
  • Reduces the chance of dying from flu complications
  • Protects your from getting other illnesses due to a lower immune system, if you do contract flu

Similar to COVID-19?

Right now, it can be difficult to differentiate the symptoms of COVID-19 and Influenza (flu) because both are viruses that cause respiratory illness, but they are caused by different virus strains.

Similarities in Symptoms

  • 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

However, there are some differences between COVID-19 and Influenza when it comes to symptoms and exposure.

Difference in Symptoms

  • COVID – Your symptoms will take longer to develop. The CDC states that a person can develop COVID-19 symptoms five days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as two days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection.
  • FLU – Your symptoms will appear within one to four days after infection
  • COVID – You may experience a change in or loss of taste or smell

Difference in Spreading

  • FLU – You are contagious for about one day before they show symptoms. Older children and adults with flu appear to be most contagious during the initial 3-4 days of their illness but many remain contagious for about 7 days. However, infants and people with weakened immune systems can be contagious for even longer.
  • COVID – You can spread the virus for about two days before experiencing signs or symptoms and remain contagious for at least ten days after signs or symptoms first appeared. If someone is asymptomatic or their symptoms go away, it’s possible to remain contagious for at least ten days after testing positive for COVID-19.

Bluestem Health professionals advise that if you or a member of your family has symptoms similar to both Influenza or COVID-19 to maintain safety precautions, as well as getting tested.

Come To Our Clinic

These are confusing times, but our family medicine doctors at Bluestem Health Clinics, are here to help your family navigate through this complicated flu season and the COVID pandemic. They provide a comforting and professional approach that will make you and your family feel safe and in expert hands.

Flu Shot Clinics will be held at the Main Clinic, serving patients from all locations, on Fridays, 8 AM – 5 PM and Saturdays, Saturday 8 AM -12 PM, by appointment ONLY. You MUST be a Bluestem Health patient, having seen a provider within the current calendar year, to make an appointment at our Flu Clinic. We will also be administering flu vaccines to patients at their regularly scheduled appointments.

Flu season is here so call your Bluestem Health provider and schedule your flu shot with today, at 402-476-1455.

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