How to Protect Yourself from the Flu or COVID-19

Published: September 03, 2020

Asha Shah, MD, Associate Director, Department of Infectious Diseases

Committed to Your Safety

Stamford Health is dedicated to stopping the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Get service updates, answers to questions and learn how to help in the greater Stamford CT community.

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COVID-19 has been impacting our community for many months now. As we approach flu season, you may be wondering how you can protect yourself from both the influenza virus as well as COVID-19.  

It is important to recognize that both the flu and COVID-19 share many symptoms, such as fever, cough, congestion, headache, and body aches.

Your diagnosis may not be immediately clear to you or your doctor. Most likely, he or she will order tests to identify the source of your symptoms. So while there are subtle differences between the flu and COVID-19, the ways you can stay safe and healthy are very similar. We encourage you to take these important steps to keep you and your loved ones healthy this fall.

1. Get your flu shot

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to get your flu shot this year. Each year, influenza contributes to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations. An annual, seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect you and your family. Some studies show that getting the flu vaccine can reduce your risk by 40-60%.

  • When: Stamford Health encourages you to get your flu shot as close to October as possible. The benefits of the flu vaccine (protection and immunity) can wane over times so it’s best to get it right before the peak of flu season for lasting protection through the spring.
  • How: Stamford Health Medical Group offers a variety of ways to get the flu vaccine. To protect our patients and staff and adhere to safe social distancing guidelines, this year we are requiring that you book an appointment to receive your vaccine. You can either request a shot from your primary care doctor or book an appointment at our Walk-In Center at 292 Long Ridge Road in Stamford.
    • Please note that an appointment is still needed if you choose to get vaccinated at the Walk-In Center.
    • You can visit this page for a list of doctors currently giving the flu shot.

2. Practice the 4 Ws

The 4Ws (Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Wipe down surfaces, Watch your distance) will not only protect you from COVID-19, but will protect you other respiratory viruses as well, including the common cold, flu and RSV. Practice the 4Ws diligently, and take comfort in the fact that you are doing everything you can to keep yourself healthy this season.

3. If you have symptoms of the flu or COVID-19, contact your doctor.

Your doctor will decide whether or not you should get tested for COVID-19 or the flu, or both. Remember:

  • If you are unwell, stay at home and keep a safe distance from others.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you will most likely need to isolate for at least 10 days before returning to work or your daily activities.

How else can you help others this cold and flu season?

Spread the word by telling your loved ones how important it is to get their yearly flu shot.

Featured Expert/ Author

Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine

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