This year, more than ever, it is important for everyone to receive a flu vaccine to prevent the spread of flu so we can decrease the amount of virus circulating in our community. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age or older receive a yearly flu vaccine. AppHealthCare will offer drive-thru flu vaccine clinics Monday, December 14, Tuesday, December 15, Thursday, December 17 and Friday, December 18 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. We will not have a flu vaccine clinic on Wednesday, December 16.
Flu vaccine clinics will be offered at each of our clinic locations:
-Alleghany: 157 Health Services Road in Sparta
-Ashe: 413 McConnell Street in Jefferson
-Watauga: 126 Poplar Grove Connector in Boone
We request you make an appointment by completing an online registration form on our website at www.AppHealthCare.com. If you are unable to schedule an appointment online, please call us at (828) 795-1970. If you have health insurance, please bring your insurance card or information with you. Please arrive anytime from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, stay in your car and follow the directional signage.
Flu infections are most common from late fall to early spring in North Carolina. Peak activity usually occurs in January or February, although it can’t be predicted exactly when it will happen. As we continue into the cold and flu season, we typically see an increase of viruses that circulate in our community. This year we will also have COVID-19 virus with us as well so we must continue to do the things that slow the spread of viruses.
“It is important to receive the flu vaccine in order to protect you and your loved ones during the flu season. This year, it is more important than ever because of COVID-19 and flu that can circulate in the community at the same time. The best way to prevent the spread of flu is to get the flu vaccine. You can get your vaccine at AppHealthCare drive-thru clinics or see your healthcare provider or local pharmacy,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare.
There are benefits to receiving the flu vaccine each year. According to studies cited by the CDC, flu vaccination can:
● Protect people who are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from flu, like older adults, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (including obesity) and young children
● Make illness milder and reduce the risk of more serious outcomes
● Protect pregnant women and their developing babies
Flu vs. COVID-19 Similarities and Differences
While we are still learning about COVID-19, there are similarities and differences with the flu. Both COVID-19 and flu are respiratory viruses so they are spread in a similar way and can affect someone’s respiratory system which can present as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 are the same as the flu like fever, cough, aches and may require testing to confirm a diagnosis. It is important to note that a key difference of the flu and COVID-19 is that COVID-19 is more contagious among certain populations and age groups. COVID-19 can spread quickly and easily to a lot of people. Learn more about similarities and differences from the CDC.
How can you help prevent spread of flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses:
● Get a flu shot to prevent infection from influenza
● Wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth
● Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer
● Wait at least 6 feet from others
● Stay home when you’re sick
● Keep distance from others who are sick
● Avoid touching your face
● Avoid crowded areas
● Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, lightswitches, tables and handles.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of reported symptoms. These include:
● Fever or chills
● Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
● Muscle or body aches
● New loss of taste or smell
● Sore throat
● Congestion or runny nose
● Nausea or vomiting
● A fever of 100.4F/38C degrees or higher or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
● A cough and/or sore throat
● A runny or stuffy nose
● Headaches and/or body aches
● Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
To learn more about the flu, visit http://flu.nc.gov . This website will be updated weekly during flu season by the NC Division of Public Health with the most current flu related data.
For more information related to COVID-19, including local data, visit AppHealthCare’s website here. Our COVID-19 call center is available to take COVID-19 related calls each day at (828) 795-1970 and you can also email questions to [email protected].
AppHealthCare is available and on-call 24/7 to respond to public health emergencies. To reach us, call Watauga (828) 264-4995, Ashe (336) 246-9449, Alleghany (336) 372-5641 anytime and follow the prompts. For more information, visit www.AppHealthCare.com and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.