Unfortunately, yes, it is possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.

Getting both respiratory illnesses at the same time wasn’t as huge of a concern last year as it is this year, due to no more required social distancing and less mask wearing.

To learn more about what getting both of these illnesses at the same time could look like, check out the information our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team shares below.

Why Can You Get COVID-19 and the Flu at the Same Time?

The flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses, so getting vaccinated for one won’t protect against the other—even though both types of viruses show similar symptoms at times. Since the two respiratory illnesses are caused by different viruses, it’s possible to get them at the same time.

The reason that both the flu and COVID-19 viruses are more prevalent during the winter is because the protective coatings around these viruses are more stable in colder temperatures than they are in warmer temperatures. Because of this, more people become infected during the wintertime due to the viruses being able to survive longer outside of the host bodies and be passed on to other host bodies.

Common Flu and COVID-19 Symptoms

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

How Can I Know If I Have COVID-19 or the Flu?

The best way to diagnose your symptoms is by, first, getting a COVID-19 test. Since we haven’t reached herd immunity yet, it’s important to rule this virus out before ruling out the flu.

If you test negative, get a flu test. In addition to getting both your COVID-19 and flu vaccines, we’ve listed some ways you can stay healthy this winter below.

More Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter

  • Wear a mask in public.
  • Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • If you don’t have access to soap and water, use alcohol-rich hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or elbow when you sneeze or cough.

Have additional questions or concerns about COVID-19 or the flu? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our AFC team today!