Is it the flu or COVID?

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With flu season right around the corner, One Medical encourages you to get ahead of unnecessary sick days, canceled plans, and pharmacy visits by protecting yourself with a flu shot.

About 8% of the U.S. population gets sick from the flu each season. A flu shot can help you, and your loved ones stay safe this flu season.

One Medical is now taking appointments for flu shots in five Greater Houston Area offices.

Book your appointment easily on the One Medical app or website.

If you’re already coming in for an appointment, your provider can administer the flu shot.

The cost of the flu shot is entirely covered by most insurance plans.

One Medical recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID booster shots as well as their flu shots.

What are some flu symptoms to watch out for?

The flu is a highly contagious respiratory virus that comes on suddenly. Symptoms, such as body aches, fever, and a cough, typically develop one to four days after exposure, and can last from a few days to two weeks. Having the flu may include any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (usually 100.4°F or higher, lasting for several days), often with chills
  • Body aches or muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Eye pain, such as burning, pain on eye movement or sensitivity to light
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea or nausea/vomiting

How do you get the flu?

The flu is spread person-to-person primarily from droplets that can travel through the air from coughing and sneezing, as well as by physical contact with contaminated surfaces like door handles, countertops or anything else an infected person touched recently.

Should I get a flu shot?

Yes! At One Medical, they encourage all their patients who are eligible to get vaccinated against the flu. It’s the single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting the flu. In fact, the flu shot not only reduces your risk of getting the flu and lessens symptoms if you do get sick, it also helps prevent the flu from spreading. If you are in close contact with young children, anyone elderly or with a serious illness, getting vaccinated can reduce their chances of coming down with the flu and developing complications like pneumonia.

When is the best time to get a flu shot?

The ideal time to get the flu shot is before the season starts, so One Medical recommends getting vaccinated in September or October, once the current season’s vaccine becomes available. Because flu season in the U.S. can last as late as May though, it’s still worth getting vaccinated even after October. Also, it can take up to two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop and protect you against the flu, so keep that in mind when planning to get vaccinated. You can easily book your flu shot in the One Medical app.

How can I protect myself from the flu and COVID-19? And can I get both vaccines at the same time?

The best way to protect yourself and others against both flu and COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Multiple vaccines are produced each year to protect against the flu, and several COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA. These vaccines not only reduce your risk of getting the flu or COVID-19 and lessen the severity of illness if you do get sick, but they also help prevent both viruses from spreading.

It is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including the flu shot, in the same visit. This is true, no matter which dose of the COVID-19 vaccine you’re receiving. According to the CDC, “experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, after getting vaccinated and possible side effects of vaccines are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.”

If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, contact your primary care provider to access the proper treatment.

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