By mid-December, the northern hemisphere is usually well into beginning its annual flu and cold season. But in recent years, when the COVID-19 pandemic in several countries, the level of common seasonal flu remains extremely low.
The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infected at least 67 million people and killed 1.5 million across the globe. The patchwork of responses intended to fight the pandemic from temporary lockdown to several preventive measures such as wearing masks, personal hygiene, and social distancing can protect us from other respiratory illnesses.
COVID-19 has put a question on every aspect of our daily routine and focuses on a healthy lifestyle at the top of the to-do list. During this COVID-19 pandemic, you may hear that this virus is similar to the flu, such as influenza. Both of these illnesses are highly contagious and can cause respiratory issues. Our lives are way more different in ways the world could not imagine. So, putting health as a priority, how has flu season changed? How flu season is different and the same as we battle the pandemic.
Preventive measures for COVID-19
Precautions for the COVID-19 have not been changed, and the best way to protect yourself from the virus is to duplicate as they have been in previous years. Experts recommend the following precautions to protect yourself from flu and COVID19.
- Get your vaccination done for both infections
- wear masks when you go outside
- Wash and sanitize your hands regularly
- restrict your travel plans
- get proper sleep, exercise, and diet
The flu virus spreads in the same way the COVID-19 can. It primarily spreads by tiny droplets made when people suffer from flue talk or sneeze. Since the pandemic, social distancing and other preventive tactics have been implemented in every aspect of our lives. The main point is that the same precautions also minimize flu infections.
The flu vaccine is a necessary and proven asset. It is the most vital tool in our fight against the flu. The Centre for disease control and prevention experts recommend flu vaccines annually before starting winter to every individual of 6 months and older.
Although COVID-19 preventive controls showed us how to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, it does not mean you should skip the flu vaccine this year. Even you work from home or early go outside, it is necessary to get your flu and COVID-19 vaccination done. Scientists have updated all flu vaccines to protect you against the different flu viruses. You can take it at the same time as a corona vaccine. But, it will be best if you take the flu vaccine before the start of winter.
Is it safe to take the flu vaccine during the COVID-19?
There are no studies yet to describe the connection between flu shots with the outbreak of COVID-19. Experts say that the flu vaccine does not temporarily increase the chance of contracting the virus. A flu shot uses only the pieces of the influenza virus, not the whole virus, to help the immune system recognize the virus and block it when it tries to enter your body.
You can experience mild symptoms such as redness, swelling on the injected area, or soreness when you get the flu shot. Low fever and headache can also occur. The same happens when you take the COVID-19 vaccination.
What is the relation between influenza and COVID-19?
The virus that causes flu and COVID-19 spreads similarly. They can extend between the people who come in close contact ( within 6 feet or 2 meters) from the infected person. The viruses spread through the respiratory droplets released during talking, coughing, or sneezing. These droplets land into your nose or mouth or to be inhaled.
It can also spread through physical contact or touching an infected person’s surface.
Symptoms of COVID-19 and flu
Flu and COVID-19 have several signs in common such as fever, cough, tiredness, sore throat, headache, or muscle aches. You can also get symptoms of shortness or difficulty in breathing or a runny nose. In children, symptoms of nausea and vomiting are more common.
The symptoms of both illnesses can range from mild to severe or no symptoms. As COVID-19 and flu have the same symptoms, it is hard to recognize your condition. Testing is advised to diagnose if you have flu or corona. You may be diagnosed with both diseases at the same time.
Many people with mild symptoms of COVID and flu can recover at home with proper precautions, rest, and immunity boosters. But some people who are severely ill from the virus of these diseases need medical attention.
Children, older adults, and pregnant women are more at risk of severe influenza and coronavirus. During the spread of the Alpha variant, older adults or people with chronic illness were at the risk of severe infection.
During the spread of the Delta variant, people from 20 to 59 and unvaccinated people were at the risk of the infection. The primary reason for this change is affected due to the high rate of vaccination in the older age group and those with health conditions.
Assuming you are confounded about getting the COVID-19 immunization because of the crisis use approval, the FDA completely supports the Pfizer antibody. As the new variant of corona and flu is spreading drastically, getting vaccinated from both the flu and COVID-19 vaccine becomes more vital.
If you are sick with flu symptoms, you should stay home and avoid social contact with other people. People with a high risk of severe flu should visit their doctor regularly for a routine checkup. To protect yourself from the flu during winters, take your flu shots before the winters arrive.