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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Getting vaccinated against influenza can prevent a double pandemic

Pamela Cruz. Peninsula 360 Press.

The San Mateo County Health Department urged everyone 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones, which will also help prevent a double pandemic, along with COVID-19. 

Through its website, the county said this vaccination campaign is part of a health strategy that not only reduces the burden of influenza, but also helps preserve health care resources needed to care for patients with COVID-19. 

It should be noted that older adults, pregnant women, young adults, children, and people with other underlying health conditions are at increased risk for influenza, but everyone over six months of age should be vaccinated.

Also, it takes two weeks after immunization to be fully protected, and the vaccine is only effective for about a year, so it is important to be vaccinated annually.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses, but are caused by different viruses. 

COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and influenza is caused by infection with influenza viruses.

There are some key differences between the two, as COVID-19 spreads more easily than influenza and causes more severe illness in some people, and people may take longer to develop symptoms and be contagious for longer. 

Because some of the symptoms of influenza and COVID-19 are similar, it can be difficult to distinguish between them based on symptoms alone, so a screening test may be needed to help confirm the diagnosis. 

Both COVID-19 and influenza can spread from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with each other, and both diseases are spread mainly through aerosols that travel through the air when the sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

Facemasks can help prevent wearers from spreading the virus to others, however, they do not protect against COVID-19 on their own and must be combined with physical distancing and hand hygiene.

Peninsula 360 Press
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