Flu season is quickly approaching, which starts in early fall and lasts through late spring. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that you take preventative measures against contracting the flu as soon as possible this fall. Getting an annual flu shot is critical to protecting yourself as well as those around you against the influenza virus for the duration of the season, before the flu starts spreading through your office, school or neighborhood.
Are there differences between the flu and COVID-19?
While both the flu and COVID-19 are both upper respiratory infections, they have many differences. COVID-19 is caused specifically by a virus known as SARS-CoV-2, which is a new virus only detected in 2019. The flu is caused by a series of viruses known as influenza viruses, which evolve and mutate each season. While the flu can have serious and even fatal complications, there is more widely available treatment for the flu as well as rapid diagnostic tests available at AFC Urgent Care Norwalk.
Can I have COVID-19 at the same time as other upper respiratory infections?
Yes. A patient can have COVID-19 at the same time as other upper respiratory infections including the flu, strep throat and the common cold. Research is still being conducted to determine how often this may occur as well as whether or not there are any lasting side effects or complications. If you begin to exhibit symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, you should schedule a telemedicine visit with AFC Urgent Care Norwalk to go over your symptoms with one of our physicians, who can determine what kind of testing will best fit your needs.
Will a flu shot make me immune to COVID-19?
A flu shot will only provide immunity against the current strain of the flu virus. It will not provide protection against COVID-19. However, by getting a flu shot, you will be able to help your physician narrow down a potential diagnosis if you begin exhibiting symptoms of an upper respiratory virus that could be COVID-19, getting you accurate treatment in less time.
When should I get a flu shot?
Because the flu shot is only effective for six months, it is possible to get it too early. The flu shot takes about two weeks to become effective, which is why you should get it early in the season. Most physicians recommend getting the flu shot between September and mid-October, which should provide immunity through the majority of flu season. Consult with your physician about getting a second dosage of the flu vaccine for protection later in the season.
Walk-In Flu Shots & Flu Treatment in Norwalk, CT
If you are interested in getting a flu shot, visit AFC Urgent Care Norwalk this fall! Flu shots are available on a walk-in basis and flu treatment is also available. For questions, please call 203-845-9100.