New COVID-19 cases have been decreasing in Louisiana, but as the weather
begins to cool down and people begin gathering indoors, the notion that
another spike in cases could be on the horizon is a valid concern. Adding
to this concern is the upcoming influenza (flu) season which usually starts
to pick up in October and peaks in December through February.
While COVID-19 and the flu are both viral illnesses that primarily affect
the respiratory tract, they are caused by different viruses, and the possibility
of contracting both viruses at the same time does exist. Either illness
can cause you to miss work or school for several days or, in some cases,
weeks, and being infected with one virus can weaken your immune system
making you more susceptible to other viral, and even bacterial, infections.
Figuring out whether you have COVID-19 or the flu based on symptoms alone
can be difficult. Both illnesses can have similar symptoms, such as fever
and cough, but either virus can also cause infections that are asymptomatic
(not showing any symptoms). While diagnostic testing is the only way to
accurately confirm which illness you may have, you should be aware of
some differences between the two. You may experience loss of taste or
smell which is more common with COVID-19. Additionally, symptoms of COVID-19
generally appear around 5 days after exposure but can appear as long as
14 days after. Flu symptoms typically appear between 1 and 4 days after exposure.
While it is too soon to know how common or how severe concurrent COVID-19
and flu infections will be, experts agree on one thing – getting
your flu shot this year is exceptionally important compared to previous
years. Your immune system will be better protected, and if you’ve
had your flu shot, it can help your doctor in evaluating your symptoms
and determining which tests to perform.
For your convenience, all Baton Rouge General Physicians clinics are now
offering flu shots on a walk-in basis – no appointment necessary
– during regular business hours. New and existing patients ages
three and up are welcome!
- Bring photo id and insurance card
- Most flu shots are free with insurance
- Cash pay options available
For more information call (225) 763-4500 or visit BRGPhysicians.com to
Robert Sudduth, DO
Baton Rouge General Physicians - Family Medicine (Denham Springs)
Book with me!