Health Unit Saying Getting Flu Shot More Important Than Ever

AM800-News-Flu-Shot

If a second wave of COVID-19 wasn't enough, flu season is just over the horizon.

This from Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Health Promotion Specialist Joti Judgey who says the flu results in more than 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada each. 

Last year Windsor-Essex saw 180 confirmed cases of influenza and Judgey says getting your flu shot is more important than ever as many of the symptoms mirror COVID-19.

"The flu is caused by the influenza viruses and COVID-19 is caused by a new corona virus called SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 can be very similar such as having a fever, cough, shortness of breath, running and stuffy nose, headaches and muscle pains."

She says there are a few signs to look for related only to COVID-19.

"The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 that differentiate it from the flu may include things such as a change in or loss of taste or smell. So it can be very hard to tell the difference between COVID-19 and the flu based on these symptoms alone."

If you're not sure if you have the flu or COVID-19 you may want to get tested, according to Judgey.

"We would still recommend individuals in the community to get tested to confirm whether it's the flu or coronavirus. So if you think that you may have any of the symptoms we would recommend that you call your health care provider or visit a COVID-19 assessment centre."

Judgey says the flu vaccine will be available in the community by the end of October — and new this year, a higher dose of the vaccine for those over the age of 65.

More information on where to get your flu shot can be found on the health unit's website.

— with files from AM800's Patty Handysides​.