Cold and Flu Season
What You Need to Know
The continued presence of COVID-19 makes this cold and influenza (flu) season unlike any other. Getting your annual flu shot is one of the most effective ways to help protect yourself, your family and your community. Flu vaccines can reduce the severity of the illness and reduce the need for hospitalization, which is critical while we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Cold, the Flu or COVID-19?
The flu and COVID-19 are very similar, which is going to make this flu season especially challenging, so it's important to know the difference. Overlapping symptoms include:
Symptoms currently found to be unique to COVID-19 are changes in—or loss of—taste or smell.
These, along with nausea and/or diarrhea, are precursors to COVID-19 that appear to be less associated with the flu.
If you develop overlapping symptoms, it is important to:
Recognize early that you could have either illness
Be aware of your symptoms
Determine when to seek testing or medical care
You should isolate yourself for at least 10 days or until your symptoms resolve. If your symptoms do not improve, or you are feeling worse, call your doctor. You can be tested for both COVID-19 and the flu.
If you have not yet established care with a Cedars-Sinai primary care physician, call 1-800-CEDARS-1 to schedule a doctor's visit.
What You Can Do: Get Your Flu Shot
The best defense against influenza is your annual flu shot. We also need to follow the safety measures that can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the flu:
Covering coughs and sneezes
Staying home when sick
Because influenza viruses and coronaviruses are different, a flu shot won't protect against COVID-19. However, it is the best way to protect yourself and your community this cold and flu season.
Free flu shots are offered at community flu clinics across Los Angeles.