Singapore generally experiences the flu season between May to July and November to February. The country sees around 800,000 attendances in polyclinics suffering flu-like symptoms annually, with the spikes generally observed during flu seasons.
COVID-19 and the flu are serious illnesses that share many similarities, from how they spread from person to person and their often overlapping symptoms. Fever, body aches, chills, cough, and difficulty breathing are among the core symptoms of COVID, which are nearly identical to that of the flu. Thankfully, protecting yourself and your loved ones from the flu only requires a few preparatory steps, as outlined below.
1. Get the flu shot
The flu vaccine is a proven way of reducing the overall risk of catching the flu and reduces the chances of getting severely sick should a person get infected. In addition, it protects not only you but also those around you. If you already had the flu shot last year, you may wonder if getting another one is even necessary.
The reason to get yearly flu shots is that “the flu” is not a static entity that stays the same; it continuously evolves and circulates with various strains. Therefore, annual vaccines are specifically designed to combat the expected flu strain of the upcoming flu – which is why the vaccine’s effectiveness does not carry over year after year.
2. Wear a mask
Despite getting the vaccine for both COVID-19 and the flu, it is still recommended to wear a mask whenever you go out in public, especially indoors and in crowded areas with no constant fresh air circulation. As restrictions ease over time, more and more people may opt to drop masking and catch a disease despite being vaccinated. For a refresher on vaccines, they provide increased protection against the illnesses they are designed for, but they do not grant 100% immunity against them. Therefore, it is best to wear a mask to stay safe from COVID and the flu, as well as other viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses.
3. Know what to do if you get sick
As mentioned, the flu and COVID-19 share overlapping systems, which include shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and coughs. If you develop these symptoms, consult a virtual doctor in Singapore as soon as possible. They can inform you of the subsequent best steps, which may include getting tested for the flu or COVID-19 and getting a prescription for antiviral treatment for either of the two diseases.
4. Stock up on medicine and stay home if you get sick
There are plenty of medications for symptomatic relief you can stock up on in case you or any of your family members catch the flu, such as cough syrup, ibuprofen for muscle aches, Tylenol (acetaminophen), and flu and cold medication for nasal stuffiness, to name a few.
If you get sick, be it from the flu or another respiratory illness, it is recommended to stay home to avoid infecting others. To ensure the cause of your symptoms, consider getting a virtual ART test in Singapore for COVID-19 and an influenza test so you know what you are dealing with.
Flu season has come around again, and it is more important than ever to be prepared and stay safe, given that COVID-19 persists with variant strains continuing to spread. Hopefully, the contents listed in this article prove useful in keeping you and your loved ones free from the flu and other respiratory illnesses.
If you need to consult a doctor about any of the symptoms mentioned, the MyCLNQ app can connect you to a certified health professional online in no time. The app lets you access online medical consultation in just a few clicks, as well as many other healthcare services in the comforts of your home. Contact us today to learn more!