If an ageing loved one starts exhibiting symptoms such as coughing or a fever, it is difficult to know whether it might be COVID-19 or influenza since both have similar symptoms. There are some key differences at the onset, which might help you determine which one it is more likely to be. However, if you suspect that your loved one is exhibiting the symptoms of COVID-19, especially if they have had contact with someone who was infected, it is important to get tested. Please follow the link to access COVID-19 Assessment Centres in London, Ontario.
But since both viruses can pose serious health risks to those over the age of 65 and those with underlying health conditions, their symptoms are not something you should take lightly. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional if you notice any flu-like symptoms.
Although many COVID-19 symptoms are similar to that of the seasonal flu, the main difference is the loss of smell and taste. This symptom can range from mild to severe and may be noticed from 2 days to 14 days after exposure. Ageing adults noticing any abnormalities in their ability to smell or taste should be tested for COVID-19.
Other possible symptoms of COVID that are not associated with influenza include shortness of breath and rash or discolouration of the fingers or toes.
Seasonal Flu Symptoms
Seasonal flu symptoms come on suddenly and can include fever, dry cough, and headache. Most people who contract influenza recovery within about a week, but older adults are at higher risk for complications.
Why healthcare workers are so concerned this season
The COVID-19 virus is still a real threat to vulnerable populations around the globe, and as we head into flu season, there is even more cause for concern. Both viruses can be deadly to seniors and to those with underlying health problems – and there is no evidence that a person cannot be infected with both viruses at the same time.
How to limit exposure
Exposure to both the COVID-19 virus and the influenza virus can be limited by the following activities:
- Wear a mask in public spaces.
- Avoid crowds and unnecessary travel.
- Practice proper handwashing – wash hands for at least 20 seconds – especially after you have been out in public.
- Practice social distancing.
- Stay at home if you are not feeling well.
- Carry your own pen or stylus to complete transactions when out in public.
Improve your immune system
The stronger your immune system is, the less likely you will be to catch either virus – and, if you do catch a virus, a strong immune system will help to improve your outcome. Ways to boost your immune system include:
- Stay hydrated
- Take dietary supplements such as vitamin C and B12
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Get enough sleep
Remember, if you have any concerns about influenza or COVID-19 this season, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your family doctor or telehealth to discuss them.
And if you require home care for yourself or a senior loved one, you can feel confident that the caregivers at VERA Home Care are trained in all the necessary COVID-19 and influenza protocols to help keep our customers safe.
Contact us today for more information!