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Don’t Let the Flu Get Ahold of You

November 19, 2021

MASSENA, NY – The message from St. Lawrence Health is simple: the influenza vaccine can prevent the flu. The virus is at its peak every year in the United States between October and May, and on average, thousands of people in the Nation will die from it. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone six months and older get vaccinated every flu season. It takes approximately two weeks for the protection to develop once you have been vaccinated, and contrary to the myth, the vaccine does not cause the flu.

Non-vaccinated individuals who contract this contagious disease may experience symptoms that are much like those associated with COVID-19 (see the accompanying graphic).

While some people may wonder if they have a cold, the flu is actually different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly, and people who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

*It’s important to note that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.

People with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. 

For informative and accurate information about the flu vaccine, talk with your St. Lawrence Health primary care provider or pediatrician. St. Lawrence Health is now dedicating a page on its website to highlight some of the most common and encouraged vaccinations and immunizations; topics will rotate monthly.