You Have the Power to Fight the Flu
Why getting vaccinated is your best defense against the flu.
This coming fall, we are faced with the possibility that the flu and COVID-19 will be present simultaneously. Both are highly contagious and sometimes deadly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu and COVID-19 are contagious, respiratory sicknesses that are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by the infection of the new Coronavirus and influenza is produced by the flu virus.
In the state of Arizona, the influenza season, more commonly known as the “flu season” begins in October and extends to the month of May. Each year, millions of people in the United States become sick by this illness. Elderly adults, infants and young children, pregnant women and individuals with certain health conditions are at a higher risk of suffering serious complications that may result in hospitalization and in some cases, death.
Now more than ever, it is vitally important for each of us to get a flu shot so we can protect ourselves, our families, the elderly and vulnerable populations with pre-existing health conditions, and our community. “Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting the flu, and help avoid the medical complications related to influenza,” Anabell Castro Thompson, Senior Vice President of Health Equity at Equality Health said during a recent press conference announcing the launch of the statewide flu vaccine initiative, led by Governor Doug Ducey.
It is important to highlight that flu vaccines may reduce the risk of hospitalizations caused by complications associated with the flu especially in infants, working-age adults, and elderly adults and is a powerful preventative tool for people who have chronic illnesses. Also, the vaccine may help protect women during and after their pregnancy and may potentially save the lives of their children.
“The flu shot helps prepare your immune system to combat the virus before you get sick. The vaccine does not have the live virus, and because of this, you cannot get sick by receiving the vaccination. However, after receiving the injection, it is normal to experience some light flu-like symptoms for a short period of time,” commented Dr. Edmond Baker, Medical Director for Equality Care Center in Phoenix.
Can I have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?
It is definitely possible to have influenza, as well as other respiratory sicknesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Some symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar and makes it difficult to tell them apart when considering only the symptoms. Diagnostic tests can determine if you have influenza or COVID-19.
“This is what we worry about the most during this flu season. Patients who are sick from both viruses can develop serious health complications,” said Dr. Baker.
According to the CDC, the annual vaccine for the flu is recommended for individuals 6 months and older to help lower the risk of getting the flu and avoiding flu-related hospitalization and death. The bottom line is, protect yourself, your family and your community by getting a flu shot this fall. It truly is your best defense.
Published in Prensa Arizona, 09/10/2020