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
Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
Stuffy, runny nose
Vomiting and diarrhea
Symptom more likely with COVID-19
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
Healthychildren.org- How Is The Flu Different From COVID-19?