Health

Prevention

  • Icon of syringe illustrating flu shot

    Flu shot

    A flu shot protects you and your family from most strains of the flu.

  • Woman wearing a fitted face mask

    COVID-19 vaccine

    The COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective at protecting you against COVID-19infection. Although breakthrough infections are possible in those who are fully vaccinated, the vaccine strongly protects those who are fully vaccinated from getting seriously ill.

Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask and practice physical distancing when in public spaces and crowded areas, and stay at home and away from others when you are sick to prevent catching and transmitting respiratory viruses such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Symptoms

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
Icon showing a sick woman with a cold press on her head

What to Expect

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    Flu

    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.

  • Icon showing sick woman resting in bed.

    COVID-19

    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.

Treatment

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    Flu

    Rest, a fever reducer, such as acetaminophen, and an antiviral medicine to reduce the amount of time you have the flu and prevent complications.

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    COVID-19

    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.

Complications

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    Flu

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

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    COVID-19

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

Cause

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    Flu

    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

    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-Co-2 virus.

*More research is needed, but experts currently 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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