It is that time of year again. Time to protect yourself and others from the Flu. Getting vaccinated against the flu every year is the single best way to prevent the flu. The flu vaccine can keep you from getting the flu, make the illness less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading the virus to family and friends.
The CDC recommends all individuals over the age of six months get the flu vaccine. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu – including older people, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.
Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses and COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2). 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, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two. While more is learned every day, there is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it. Please contact the Alexander Health Center with any symptoms and we will help you to determine next steps.
It is possible to have flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses including COVID-19 at the same time. Both the Flu and COVID-19 can result in serious illness, resulting in hospitalization or death. Taking steps to prevent the flu will allow our health care systems to concentrate their efforts and have room to treat all illnesses including COVID-19.
In addition to getting your flu shot, Please follow these prevention tips:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Outside your home, put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Stay home from work, school, and other public places if you are ill. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Make “respiratory hygiene” a habit, including use of tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, then disposing of them and washing hands at once. When tissues are not readily available, use your sleeve, never your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of illness, and take your temperature daily.
- Complete the Covid-19 Self Reporting form if you test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with symptoms of COVID or have symptoms related to COVID-19.
Together we can keep our campus safe and healthy.