It would be an understatement to say that we live in a different world than we did during the last flu season. Since March 2020, we have experienced lockdowns, changing recommendations, countless hospitalizations and deaths, and isolation from friends and family. The spread of COVID-19 across the globe, resulting in the kind of pandemic that hasn’t occurred in 100 years has touched us all on a personal level in one way or another–and now we are in the midst of the annual flu season. Preparing for the flu season while continuing to stay vigilant against COVID-19 adds more challenges, but a lot of what we are already doing will help keep us healthy and safe.
The disease, COVID-19, is caused by the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which is a retrovirus in a family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold. This strain, however, was transferred from bats to humans and is called a novel virus because there were no prior cases of the disease in humans of which we are aware prior to 2020.
COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that is passed through respiratory droplets. These droplets can generally travel about 6 feet when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes. We are still not 100% sure that it cannot travel farther, but if enough of the virus reaches the mucus membranes (mouth, nose, eyes) of another person, they are at risk of being infected. The hard part in detecting who is infected and who isn’t is that some people have no symptoms at all.
The flu is a seasonal illness that also effects the whole world and is caused by different viruses, Influenza A and Influenza B. Strains of these viruses can be traced back centuries, however, every year the viruses change enough that a different vaccine is needed to control the impending spread. This illness is also highly contagious and is spread through droplets. An infected person can spread the virus by talking, coughing or sneezing, but it can also land on surfaces and be transferred to someone who touches the surface and then their face.
The good news about staying safe from the flu during the COVID-19 pandemic is pretty easy. Measures, such as avoiding crowds, wearing a mask if you are within 6 feet of anyone or when indoors near strangers, staying 6 feet or more away from others, washing your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer, and wiping down frequently touched surfaces with sanitizing cleansers, will keep you safe from not only COVID-19 but also the flu.
Continue to be diligent with all CDC guidelines. The flu shot is important every year, but this year it is even more critical. As the number of people with COVID-19 grows, hospitals are filling up. If we have a large outbreak of the flu, things will only get worse. Finally, if you are not feeling well, call a healthcare provider or seek urgent care, so they can guide you on what you should do next.
Flu and Winter Illness Treatment in Fairless Hills, PA
Seeking the advice of a physician when you experience cold or flu symptoms will help identify the correct diagnosis, shorten recovery, and may even prevent complications and hospitalization. The doctors at Patient Care Now are here to help when it comes to winter illnesses, like the flu.
No appointments are necessary at our clinic. You can simply walk in to get the care you need. If you suspect you may have COVID-19, please call us and do not come to the clinic. For more information, call (267) 202-6433, check in online, or visit us. We’re here 7 days a week, 365 days a year.