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Coronavirus Update: What’s the latest on COVID-19? Learn More

Memorial Hospital Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund Learn More

Flu vaccines are available

Flu vaccines are available

Stop by Sweetwater Walk-In
or contact your primary care provider

While influenza viruses are detected year-round, fall and winter are when flu viruses are most common. With COVID-19 cases on the rise again, it’s important to take precautions.

Brian Barton, PA-CIt’s likely that the flu virus and the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, will both spread this fall and winter, said Brian Barton, PA-C, at Sweetwater Walk-In Clinic.

The best way to prevent the flu is to get an annual vaccination and wash your hands, he said. Most of the Specialty Clinics of Sweetwater Memorial have flu vaccines available.

Sweetwater Walk-In Clinic is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays at 3000 College Drive. The hospital’s primary care clinics also have vaccines available. To find out more about Family Medicine, Pediatrics or Internal Medicine providers, go to sweetwatermemorial.com.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the flu vaccine will not prevent COVID-19, but it will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the healthcare system and conserve medical resources.

Basic prevention measures for the flu and the coronavirus are similar:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, limit contact with others.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Wear face coverings.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause the flu.

Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference based on symptoms alone, Barton said. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with the flu or COVID-19. Check with your primary care provider to find out more.

The hospital is currently seeing an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases, Barton said. The community is being urged to take preventive measures.

Other respiratory viruses also circulate during the flu season and can cause symptoms and illness similar to the flu, according to the CDC. These respiratory viruses include rhinovirus (one cause of the “common cold”) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is the most common cause of severe respiratory illness in young children, as well as a leading cause of death from respiratory illness in those aged 65 years and older.