National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 5-11, is a call to all Americans 6 months and older to get their annual flu vaccine if they have not already. Flu remains a significant public health concern, and this week will serve to remind people that there is still time to get a flu vaccine—the only vaccine that protects against flu—to prevent flu illness and potentially serious complications.
What is the difference between COVID-19 and Influenza (flu)?
Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus first identified in 2019, and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.
Because some of the symptoms of flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory illnesses are similar, the difference between them cannot be made based on symptoms alone. Testing is needed to tell what the illness is and to confirm a diagnosis. People can be infected with both flu and the virus that causes COVID-19 at the same time and have symptoms of both influenza and COVID-19.
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The Malheur County Health Department will offer flu vaccines to people on a walk-in basis Wednesday, Dec. 15 and Wednesday, Dec. 29, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the clinic, 1108 SW 4th St., in Ontario, or by appointment. Call 541-889-7279 to schedule an appointment.