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 vaccine guidelines for the strongest protection against COVID-19 viral variants.
  • Vaccination may be recommended to prevent RSV. The vaccine may be appropriate for people over age 60 or otherwise at risk for a severe RSV 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 RSV, 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 RSV, and other germs..

Flu and COVID-19 symptoms include

Flu, RSV 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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  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Decreased appetite

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.

  • Coughing


    RSV symptoms often show up within four to six days after exposure. Most children and adults with RSV will have mild symptoms similar to the common cold and recover in one to two weeks. In children younger than 1 year, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia.


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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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    For those with mild symptoms, rest and plenty of fluids are recommended. Over-the-counter pain relievers or fever reducers can help manage symptoms. Aspirin should NOT be given to children or teenagers during viral illnesses.


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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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    Children with severe symptoms may require a hospital visit to receive more fluids, oxygen therapy or use of a ventilator breathing machine.


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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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    RSV is caused by a common respiratory virus. Most children contract the respiratory syncytial virus before age 2.

*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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