SPRINGFIELD — Health experts are urging Americans to get their flu vaccine, commonly known as the flu shot, this year to stay healthy and avoid complications from influenza.
“With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is even more important everyone aged 6 months and older get a flu shot this year. It is a safe and effective way to help keep you and your family healthy and avoid additional complications which might arise from having both the flu and COVID-19,” said Dr. Robert Roose, chief medical officer at Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates.
Influenza is an upper respiratory illness that can lead to serious health complications, hospitalization, and even death. Those at high risk for complications include young children, adults over age 50, pregnant women, those who live in senior facilities, and people with asthma, heart problems, diabetes, or other illnesses that have lowered their immune system.
Since symptoms of COVID-19, flu, and common cold are similar, it is important to recognize the symptoms and contact a medical professional. All three conditions can have similar symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain or body aches, and headache.
“If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor,” Roose said. “Your doctor may recommend a virtual visit or advise you get tested for COVID-19 or the flu. Stay home and avoid contact with others if you have any of these symptoms. If you live with others, isolate yourself in a separate room if possible.”
To schedule a flu vaccine today at one of Mercy’s locations, visit www.trinityhealthofne.org. For more information on the flu, visit www.trinityhealthofne.org/about-us/blog/the-flu-and-what-you-need-to-know.