When you hear about COVID-19 being a virus, it’s natural to wonder if it’s related to the flu. But the answer is no.

COVID-19 and the seasonal flu share similar symptoms—and they’re both viruses—but they are different. However, you can take steps to protect yourself this winter by boosting your immune system with a flu shot. Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Hixson shares some insight.

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

While the seasonal flu is the result of a strain of the influenza virus, COVID-19 is the result of the coronavirus. The coronavirus is a group of viruses that cause respiratory infections—the common cold is one type of the coronavirus.

Symptoms are similar between the two illnesses, but when you develop those symptoms is different. It can take a while for COVID-19 to develop after exposure, but when you’re exposed to the flu, you will likely develop symptoms within one to four days.

Flu Symptoms to Know

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Stuffy or runny nose

Why Do I Need a Flu Shot?

While there’s no way to 100% prevent the flu, the flu shot is your best defense. The vaccine is reformulated each year to protect against the strains of the flu thought to be most common, which is why an annual shot is important.

A flu shot is especially important this year, since the flu season (which lasts from November until March or April) will intersect with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC recommends getting your flu shot by the end of October.

Other Flu Prevention Tips

  • Wear a mask for COVID-19 prevention, which can also limit the spread of the flu.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds each time.
  • Limit your interaction with others outside the home when possible.
  • Disinfect commonly touched objects and surfaces often.
  • Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands.

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