Your best defense against the flu.
Flu vaccinations are more important than ever! Each year, millions of people in the country get the flu,. Many people experience the flu as a few days of feeling as if a truck has hit them. For some, flu leads to dangerous complications.
The single best way to protect yourself and others against influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year. Healthcare providers administer the flu shot, which is an inactivated vaccine containing killed virus, with a needle, typically in the arm.
Be Aware of Common Flu Symptoms
Influenza (commonly called the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following symptoms:
- Body aches
- Diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children than adults)
- Fever (usually high)
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Tiredness (can be extreme)
Having these symptoms does not always mean you have the flu. Many different illnesses, including the common cold, can have similar symptoms.
Think You Might Have the Flu?
It’s hard to tell if you have the flu or another infection just by looking at symptoms. It’s a good idea to see a healthcare provider, especially if you’re at high risk for flu complications.
For your convenience, we offer easy-to-schedule video visits to current Bellin patients and anyone else. Stay in the comfort of your home and receive great care.
Know the Risks From the Flu
Although most healthy people recover from the flu without complications, the flu can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death.
Those aged 65 or older are at high risk for complications. Additionally, individuals with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease are also at high risk. Pregnant women and young children also are considered at high risk for complications.
Know How the Flu Spreads
The flu usually spreads from person to person in respiratory droplets when people who are infected cough or sneeze. Occasionally, individuals may contract an influenza virus by touching something contaminated with it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes.
Healthy adults may be able to infect others one day before getting symptoms and up to five days after getting sick. You can give someone the flu before or while you are sick without even realizing it.
Flu and COVID-19
Different viruses cause influenza (flu) and COVID-19, which are contagious respiratory illnesses. Infection with a coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19, and infection with influenza viruses causes flu.
Flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, making it difficult to distinguish between them based on symptoms alone. Testing is necessary to confirm a diagnosis.
Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two. It is also possible to have the flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.
Who should get the flu shot?
The flu shot is safe for everyone over 6 months old. This includes people who are healthy or have chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.
When should I get the flu shot?
Get your flu shot in September or as soon as it's available. This is because the timing and duration of influenza seasons vary. While influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks in January or later.
Will I be charged for the flu vaccine?
With or without insurance, flu vaccinations will be at no cost to the patient this year.
Where can I get my flu shot without an appointment?
You can visit either of Bellin Health FastCare clinics seven days a week as a walk-in. Find a Bellin FastCare location near you!
Will a flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?
Getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19 specifically; however, flu vaccination has many other very important benefits. Studies have shown that flu vaccines reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death.
Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID vaccines are available for those age six months and older at all Bellin Health clinic locations and Bellin Health Fastlane and can be scheduled via MyBellinHealth or by calling our COVID-19 hotline at (920) 445-7313.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
Testing is available at all Bellin Health clinic locations and Bellin Health Fastlane. General COVID testing is not available in our Emergency Department. COVID testing is only performed after symptom evaluation and at the discretion of the provider. You can schedule your COVID test on MyBellinHealth or by calling our COVID-19 hotline at (920) 445-7313.
Experiencing long-haul COVID?
Your Bellin Health primary care provider is ready to assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.