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Flu or COVID-19?

Both the flu (influenza) and COVID-19 are contagious and will be spreading this fall and winter. They have similar symptoms, so it can be hard to tell them apart.

Fortunately, we have a vaccine​ to help prevent the flu​. Make sure your child gets a flu shot. This is more important than ever this flu season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is it COVID-​19 or the flu?

Both infections can cause no symptoms (asymptomatic) or include mild to severe symptoms. Flu symptoms show up about 1 to 4 days after being exposed to a sick person. COVID-19 symptoms appear about 2 to 14 days after being exposed to a sick person.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC​), shared and unique symptoms may include:

Common symptoms of BOTH Influenza and COVID-19

  1. Fever/chills

  2. Cough

  3. Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing

  4. Extreme tiredness

  5. Muscle or body aches

  6. Headache

  7. Stuffy, runny nose

  8. Vomiting and diarrhea

Symptom more likely with COVID-19

  1. Loss of taste or smell

Why a flu shot is important

​Children can get seriously ill from the flu, especially if they did not get a flu shot. During last year’s flu season, 188 children under 19 died of complications from influenza, according to the CDC. Typically, about 80% of children who die from the flu are not vaccinated. That’s why children 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine before the start of the flu season each year.​

​​Even if your child had COVID-19, they can still get a flu shot once symptoms go away if they have not been previously vaccinated.​

The flu shot can be given to children who are otherwise healthy and also children with underlying medical conditions. Children with certain medical conditions (heart or lung disease, obesity, diabetes, or sickle cell disease for example) can be at risk of more severe illness from both COVID-19 or flu.

Flu Shots at Kids First Pediatrics

More than ever, it is important to protect your children and family with flu vaccines. The Kids First Pediatrics team is happy to offer flu shots by appointment. ⁠

⁠Call today to book your child’s flu shot:⁠

Kids First Raleigh (23 Sunnybrook Road Suite 116)- 919-250-3478⁠

Kids First Clayton (400 Athletic Club Blvd. Unit 101)- 919-267-1499⁠

Article Source: How Is The Flu Different From COVID-19?

More Information

  1. Which Flu Vaccine Should My Child Get This Year?

  2. The Flu

  3. Flu: A Guide for Parents of Children or Adolescents with Chronic Health Conditions

  4. COVID-19 and Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children​

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