Remember that other virus? Seasonal flu vaccine available at health department

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The Fayette County Health Department now has seasonal flu vaccine available by appointment only. Vaccine is available for anyone over the age of 6 months, according to Hayla Folden, media relations specialist, District 4 (LaGrange), Georgia Department of Public Health.

The cost of the vaccine is $25 but most major insurances are accepted and discounts may be available for uninsured. High-dose flu vaccine is available for individuals 65 years and older and is covered by Medicare. The cost of high-dose flu vaccine is $55 if it is not covered by insurance. Call 800-847-4262 to make an appointment.

SYMPTOMS:

Both Covid-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms that Covid-19 and flu 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.

Much of the U.S. population is at high risk from serious flu complications either because of their age or because they have a medical condition like asthma, diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart conditions, or because they are pregnant. People with a health condition should receive a flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

COMPLICATIONS:

Both Covid-19 and flu can result in complications, including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory failure
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (fluid in the lungs)
  • Sepsis (a life-threatening illness caused by the body’s extreme response to an infection)
  • Cardiac injury (for example, heart attacks and stroke)
  • Multiple-organ failure (respiratory failure, kidney failure, shock)
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions (involving the lungs, heart, or nervous system or diabetes)
  • Inflammation of the heart, brain, or muscle tissues
  • Secondary infections (bacterial or fungal infections that can occur in people who have already been infected with flu or Covid-19)

DIFFERENCES:

Most people who get flu will recover on their own in a few days to two weeks, but some people will experience severe complications, requiring hospitalization. Some of these complications are listed above. Secondary bacterial infections are more common with influenza than with Covid-19.

Diarrhea is more common in young children with flu than in adults with flu.

Additional complications associated with Covid-19 can include:

Blood clots in the veins and arteries of the lungs, heart, legs or brain

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and in Adults (MIS-A)

Flu viruses are constantly changing. Each flu season, different flu viruses can spread, and they can affect people differently based on their body’s ability to fight infection. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to family and friends.

PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE

For people who do not receive the flu vaccine, health officials encourage them to take the following steps to reduce their chances of getting the flu:

Wash your hands regularly

Cover coughs and sneezes

Keep household surfaces clean

Don’t attend work or school when ill

Don’t share glasses or eating utensils