The safer health practices, started with the onset of COVID-19, will be especially useful during the colder months, when other respiratory viruses will be spreading throughout the community. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May. The flu shot is the best way to prevent flu each year and is especially important this year, since both viruses will likely be spreading. It is important to note, getting a flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19; however, flu vaccination will reduce your risk for getting the flu and serious complications from the flu.
According to The Centers Disease Control and Prevention, it is possible to have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time but how often this may occur is unknown at this time. What we do know is that if more individuals receive the flu shot this year, there will be less people sick from the flu. This is extremely important to reduce the number of individuals who get the flu and then have to visit a physician, emergency department, and/or end up hospitalized.
Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
• fever or feeling feverish/chills
• sore throat
• runny or stuffy nose
• muscle or body aches
• fatigue (tiredness)
• vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults).
Flu vaccines are available at multiple locations, including doctor’s offices, health departments and pharmacies. Visit vaccinefinder.org to find out where flu vaccines are available near you.
The Iredell County Health Department is now offering walk-in flu shots at the Statesville location and by appointment at the Mooresville location. Appointments are accepted at the Statesville location, but not required. Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Medicaid, North Carolina Health Choice and Medicare Part B are accepted. Contact 704-878-5300 for information regarding the flu or insurance coverage or visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu
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