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  • Flu Prevention

Getting Tested For Flu Is Critical During COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on October 6, 2021

This flu season, it may be hard to know if you are experiencing symptoms of influenza or COVID-19. That’s why we recommend that anyone who gets sick during the 2021-2022 flu season ask to be tested for both flu and COVID-19.

Flu vs. COVID-19 symptoms:
According to the CDC, common symptoms that flu and COVID-19 share include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Change in or loss of taste or smell, although this is more frequent with COVID-19

Because of these striking similarities, getting tested is the only way to know which virus is making you sick. 

Testing Can Help With Treatment
Once you’re able to determine which virus is causing you to feel ill, you can work with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment options. 

For example, if you know that you have the flu, antiviral medications are available. These medications can reduce the duration of your illness and make you less likely to have complications. 

While there aren’t any approved treatments for COVID-19, knowing that you are sick can help you track what symptoms to look out for. 

Testing Can Help With Identifying Exposures
For the flu, it is particularly necessary to inform people who are at high risk of flu complications that they could get sick so that they can seek out treatment. 

For COVID-19, the CDC recommends informing people you were in close contact with for over 15 minutes that they were exposed. 

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