COVID-19 and the flu are circulating simultaneously this season.
If you’re unlucky enough to get one -- or both -- viruses, Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Susan Rehm said many people can care for themselves at home.
“People with milder cases of influenza, or COVID, should pay attention to staying hydrated, monitor their temperature, monitor their breathing, get some rest and obviously isolate,” she said.
Flu and coronavirus have similar symptoms, such as fever, tiredness, headaches, body aches and chills, and can be difficult to tell apart without testing.
Rehm recommends calling your healthcare provider if you suspect either illness because testing and treatment options differ. Regardless of the virus you’re fighting, it’s important to recognize signs of distress and when to seek immediate help.
“People should consider going to the emergency room, or calling their doctor, if they have severe shortness of breath, confusion, productive cough – meaning bringing up a lot of sputum with coughing – or any other symptom that’s causing them distress that they can’t take care of themselves at home,” Rehm said.
She also said if you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccine or flu vaccine yet, you are urged to do so. It’s also recommended to get your COVID-19 booster, as it will be your best form of protection from the viruses.