This year, it is especially important to get the flu vaccination and / or take steps to prevent the flu as the health care system is already under stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cold and Flu Prevention:
- Get the flu shot if you are able. Getting the flu shot can reduce your chances of contracting influenza,
- Disinfect common surfaces such as doorknobs, keyboards, phones, and light switches, tools, etc.
- Practice good hygiene,
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow,
- Stay home if you are sick,
- Avoid touching your face,
- Wear amask,
- PracticeSocial (Physical) Distancing,
- Monitor your health closely for symptoms,
- Get plenty of sleep and exercise,
- Eat healthy.
In the Workplace:
- Cross-train other employees so they can cover when one is away,
- Stay home from work if you are sick,
- If you begin to feel sick at work, go home as soon as possible.
Cold vs Flu vs COVID-19:
For both COVID-19 and flu, it’s possible to spread the virus for at least 1 day before experiencing any symptoms.
Not much is known about how the two diseases might interact, but it is possible to have both COVID-19 and seasonal flu at the same time. Both illnesses attack the respiratory system and both cause fever. The risk of such coinfections is typically low, but it gets higher when two viruses are circulating heavily in the same region.
When To Seek Medical Attention
People experiencing these warning signs should obtain medical care right away.
Emergency warning signs for COVID-19 or Flu*:
- Trouble breathing,
- Inability to wake or stay awake,
- Bluish lips or face.
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen,
- Persistent dizziness, confusion,
- Not urinating,
- Severe muscle pain,
- Severe weakness or unsteadiness,
- Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen,
- Worsening of chronic medical conditions.
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Published: September 18, 2020
“Coronavirus and the Flu: A looming Double Threat”, Scientific America, 24 July 2020, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coronavirus-and-the-flu-a-looming-double-threat/
“Flu (influenza): Prevention and risks”, Government of Canada, 29 October 2019, www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/flu-influenza/prevention-risks.html
“Cold Versus Flu”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 August 2020, www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/coldflu.htm
“Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 August 2020, www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm