Follow Vaccine Guidelines

  • The flu and COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at protecting you against severe consequences of influenza and COVID-19, respectively.
  • Stay up to date and follow COVID-19 booster guidelines for the strongest protection against COVID-19 viral variants.
  • Vaccination may be recommended to prevent monkeypox infection after exposure to someone who has the illness. These vaccines aren’t necessary for everyone, but may be appropriate for people who have been exposed or who are at risk for a severe monkeypox infection.
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    Wash Hands Often

    Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after sneezing, coughing or using the bathroom and before eating.

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    Respiratory Etiquette

    Follow guidelines for where and when to wear a face mask. Be sure to cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, throw the tissue away, and wash your hands immediately.

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    Avoid Close Contact

    Avoid close contact with those confirmed or suspected of having the flu, COVID-19 or monkeypox, particularly, in crowded indoor spaces, consider wearing a mask. 

Stay at home and away from others when you are sick to prevent transmitting respiratory viruses such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the virus that causes monkeypox, and other pathogens.

Flu and COVID-19 symptoms include

Flu and COVID-19 can have similar symptoms. Call a doctor or health care center if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Stuffy or runny nose, cough, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat or headache
  • Fever or chills, muscle or body aches, new fatigue/feeling tired or without energy
  • Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
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  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle aches
  • A blister-like rash that looks like chickenpox and appears on the face, or the genital or anal areas and spreads to other places on the body

What to Expect

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    Fever and aches should end within five days. Coughing and fatigue/feeling tired or not having energy can last about two weeks. See your doctor if symptoms get worse. Severe cases may lead to hospitalization or death.

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    Some people may never have symptoms. Recovery can take up to two weeks for mild cases, or six weeks or more for severe cases. COVID-19 may also lead to lasting organ damage, hospitalization or death.

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    Monkeypox infection lasts two to four weeks in most people. The monkeypox rash dries up after a week or two, and recovery continues. Once the skin lesions heal, a person will no longer transmit the monkeypox virus to others.


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    Rest, a fever reducer such as acetaminophen and an antiviral medicine to reduce the amount of time you have the flu and prevent complications. For serious cases, hospitalization and breathing support with a ventilator may be necessary.

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    Mild cases: rest, fever reducers and cough medicine. Antibody treatment for those at high risk of severe disease. Serious cases: hospitalization, breathing support with a ventilator or other therapies.

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    Many monkeypox cases resolve on their own. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that doctors consider antivirals for people with severe monkeypox disease, patients who are immunocompromised, children younger than age 8 and people who are pregnant, following consultation with the CDC.


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    Flu can turn into pneumonia, and very severe cases can be fatal.

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    COVID-19 can result in pneumonia and lasting damage to your lungs, kidneys, heart and brain. COVID-19 can be fatal.*

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    Though some strains of monkeypox can be fatal, the strain of monkeypox that has been seen in outbreaks outside of Africa in 2022 is less severe than other strains and has caused mild illness in most people infected with that virus.


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    Flu is caused by several different influenza viruses that change each year, which is why there is a new vaccine each flu season.

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    COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, which emerged late in 2019. The disease can also be caused by variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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    Monkeypox is caused by a virus related to the one that causes smallpox. Monkeypox disease is usually milder than smallpox. It is called monkeypox because it was first isolated in monkeys, but monkeys are not the primary carriers of the virus.

*More research is needed, but experts believe that the death rate of COVID-19 could be 10 times higher (or more) than most strains of the flu.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor or health center if you have any symptoms of illness. Explain what is happening, and follow their advice.
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