Even during the age of COVID-19, yes, it’s possible to get the flu this year. In fact, it’s even more possible to get the flu this year compared to last year, due to reduced social distancing and fewer mask mandates.
There are some additional risk factors that can increase your chances of getting the flu as well, and our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team elaborates on them below.
What Is the Flu?
Before knowing what can increase your chances of getting the flu, it’s important to know what this illness actually is. The flu is caused by influenza viruses, which attack the respiratory system.
Oftentimes, the flu can be mistaken for a common cold, but there are several differentiating factors that separate the flu from a common cold, such as the presence of a fever, body aches and extreme fatigue.
Common Flu Symptoms
- Aches and pains throughout the body
- Sore throat
- An extreme feeling of fatigue
- A persistent and worsening cough
- Stuffy or runny nose
What Increases Flu Risk?
In general, young children, older adults, those who are pregnant and those who have compromised immune systems are at a greater risk of the flu. Not only do these types of people have a higher chance of getting sick, but they also have a higher chance of getting seriously ill.
We’ve listed some additional circumstances and health scenarios that will increase flu risk below.
Flu Risk Factors
- Chronic lung diseases, such as asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis
- Heart disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Diseases (HIV, AIDS) or treatments (steroids, chemotherapy) that suppress immunity
- Liver disorders
It’s important to do what you can to protect yourself and those you know from getting sick with the flu this year! The best way to do that is by getting the flu vaccine at our AFC center, so stop by today!