Each year, seasonal flu infections cause a variety of symptoms that start suddenly. The flu typically makes you feel rotten for 3 to 5 days. However, it can be dangerous for young children, older adults, and others with certain health conditions.  

To protect yourself and your community, you need a flu shot every year.  We could again be faced with a flu season with another respiratory virus that has very similar symptoms, that being COVID-19. If a person shows symptoms like fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches or headache, they are going to need to be tested for both COVID and influenza. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises everyone ages 6 months and older to receive an annual flu vaccination.  

There are a variety of options this year when it comes to your flu vaccine: 

• Quadrivalent regular dose injectable (or “shot”) 

• Intranasal or nasal spray (“FluMist” is a brand name) 

•High dose quadrivalent or adjuvanted for people age 65+ years 

 The best way to find the vaccine that is right for you is to consult with your doctor or pharmacist. 

Be careful on how the flu spreads
The flu virus prefers air travel, catching rides on the tiny droplets that fly out when someone sneezes, coughs, sings, or talks. However, it can also stick around on surfaces for a while. If you touch something that was recently contaminated and then touch your mouth or nose, you can get infected, too. It is important to note you can spread the virus before you show signs of illness.

The same prevention methods work for flu or COVID. Here are some tips to reduce spread:  

• Get a seasonal flu vaccine. Everyone in the family (over the age of 6 months) should get a vaccine, and so should anyone who cares for your baby. 

• Wear a mask, being sure it covers your nose and mouth snuggly.  

• Wash your hands often and well, and have children do the same. 

• If you’re sick, stay home from school or work.  

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick, if possible. 

• Cover your sneezes and coughs. 

• Use a tissue once, then throw it away and wash your hands. 

Seasonal flu symptoms usually come on fast, causing chills, fever, muscle aches, tiredness, dry cough, and sore throat. Occasionally, seasonal flu will cause a runny or stuffy nose or, in young children, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Talk to your provider

  • For specialized primary care for seniors, choose Intermountain Health’s myGeneration Clinics.
  • We’re accepting new patients at more than 30 locations.
  • The Medicare annual enrollment period is a great time to evaluate your primary care provider team in addition to your insurance coverage to ensure that you have the best care for the year ahead.
  • Call us to find a primary care provider in your neighborhood.

For more information, visit intermountainnv.org or call 725-373-2231.