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Is it COVID, a cold or the flu?

You probably already know that you should get a flu shot, also called flu vaccine, every year.

But do you know the symptoms of having the flu?

And do you know the difference between the flu and COVID-19 or the common cold?

See them here:

The flu is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and, sometimes, the lungs. It can make you—and others around you—very sick. Some people die from the flu.

If you get the flu, you will not be able to go to work for several days or even a week.

Plus, you can spread the flu to your children. If they get sick, they must stay home from daycare and school until they are no longer contagious.

The good news is, by getting a flu shot, you are much less likely to get sick if you are exposed to the flu virus.

People spread the flu to each other by coughing or sneezing.

You can also pick up the flu virus from objects like door handles or money. The virus can live on surfaces for several hours.

If you touch these objects, and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you can get infected with the virus. Wash your hands often!

The best time is before the end of October, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, you can get a flu shot even in January or later.

Yes. Children age six months and older should get the flu vaccine.

Yes.

The flu virus is different from the virus that causes COVID-19. When you get a COVID vaccine, that protects you from severe illness caused by COVID-19.

COVID continues to spread and make people very sick, so you should get a COVID shot. However, remember that it will not protect you from the seasonal flu.

You can call your doctor to schedule a flu shot visit.

To find flu shot locations near you:

If you report your flu shot, you can earn $30 in rewards to spend on items on the Parkland Rewards website.

You can spend reward points on gift cards, baby supplies, grooming items, sports equipment, and many other items from the rewards catalog.