What's the Difference Between COVID-19 and the Flu?

That’s a really common question! While both illnesses are viruses and they have similar symptoms, they are different.

Since the flu season is coming up straight ahead, it’s important to do what you can to protect yourself. Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Gastonia offers some tips on why the flu shot is important and when to get it.

Is COVID-19 the Flu?

No, COVID-19 is not a type of influenza, or the flu. While it is a virus, COVID-19 is a type of the coronavirus, a group of viruses that also causes the common cold.

Many symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are similar, but it can take longer for symptoms to develop if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. With the flu, you can develop symptoms within one to four days of exposure.

Flu Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Headache

Do I Need to Get a Flu Shot?

The answer is yes! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that nearly everyone age 6 months and older get the flu vaccine each year.

That’s especially important this year, since the flu season will overlap with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. More people could potentially get sick and require medical care or hospitalization.

How to Prevent the Flu

  • Get a flu shot by the end of October.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
  • When soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces often.
  • Wear a mask as indicated to limit the spread of COVID-19 (and the flu, too).
  • Steer clear of contact with those who may be sick.

AFC Urgent Care Gastonia is your one-stop-shop for your flu vaccination needs! Stop by or schedule an appointment at your convenience.