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Newsletter from the Coastal Health District (October 15, 2021)

The following information is courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Health Coastal Health District

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Weekly Update for 10.15.21
Influenza and COVID-19

Flu season is coming up quickly, and we don’t really know what an active flu season combined with widely circulating COVID-19 will look like.

Last year we experienced very little influenza activity, likely because of the precautions we were taking for COVID-19 such as wearing masks and keeping our distance from one another.  But this year, fewer precautions are in place and we're already seeing a resurgence of other respiratory illnesses like RSV.

The best protection from COVID-19 and the flu comes from getting vaccinated. Other precautions – like wearing a mask, socially distancing, and frequent handwashing – are also still recommended. 

Every health department in the Coastal Health District is offering flu vaccine by appointment. Contact the health department nearest you to schedule your appointment for a flu shot. 

 

What are the similarities and differences between COVID-19 and influenza?

Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they're caused by different viruses. Here are some of the ways the viruses are similar, and some ways they differ. More information is available on the CDC website

Symptoms

Similarities
  • Fever & chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Body aches & headache
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Loss of taste or smell (more common with COVID-19)
Differences:  
  • It may take longer to develop symptoms from COVID-19 than influenza.
  • A person typically experiences flu symptoms 1-4 days after infection.
  • A person typically experiences COVID-19 symptoms about 5 days after infection, although symptoms can appear 2-14 days after infection.

Spread

Similarities
  • COVID-19 and influenza spread from person-to-person, primarily when an infected person expels respiratory droplets when they cough, sneeze, or talk.
  • Both viruses can be spread by someone who is infected even if that person is not showing symptoms.
Differences:  
  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is generally more contagious than the flu virus. 
  • COVID-19 has been observed to have more superspreading events than flu, meaning the coronavirus can spread quickly and easily to a lot of people.

Severe Illness

Similarities
  • Both illnesses can be severe, and those at highest risk include older adults, people with certain underlying health conditions, and pregnant women.
  • Both viruses can result in complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, fluid in the lungs, sepsis, cardiac injury, inflammation of the heart, brain, or muscle tissues, and more.
Differences:  
  • Overall, COVID-19 seems to cause more serious illness in some people. Even healthy people can be hospitalized and die.
  • Some people who had COVID-19 can later develop post-COVID conditions. Long COVID is a range of symptoms that can last weeks or months after being infected and can happen to anyone who had COVID-19, even if the illness was mild or asymptomatic.
 
 

Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in the Coastal Health District

The Coastal Health District and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) offer mobile vaccination clinics throughout our area. The clinics are open to anyone age 12 and older, and there is no cost for vaccine.

Click the button below to view upcoming events and pre-register for an appointment. Walk ups are also welcome.

More Info about Mobile Vaccine Clinics
 

Your vaccine story

"COVID is killing a lot of folks. I've been to a lot of funerals in the past months, and I haven't been to a funeral yet for a vaccinated person.

"I'd like to encourage people to speak with their physicians and see what their doctors tell them about the shot. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the vaccine, but the truth is that it will help save people in my community and surrounding communities.

"We’re all in this together. This virus is going to keep mutating. The more shots we can get into people, the better protected we’ll all be."

-Sheriff Craig Nobles, Long County Sheriff's Office

Tell us your vaccine story!

If you've received the COVID-19 vaccine, why was that the right choice for you? We'd like to hear your COVID-19 vaccine story. We may share it here and at YourVaccineStory.com to help inform and inspire others. 

Click the button below and tell us Your Vaccine Story! 

Share Your Vaccine Story
 

COVID-19 Testing:

The Coastal Health District now offers free COVID-19 testing in 6 locations. Click here to pre-register for a COVID-19 test through public health.  

 

On the Front Lines of the COVID Crisis

St. Joseph's/Candler President & CEO Paul P. Hinchey walks the floors of St. Joseph Hospital and Candler Hospital talking to coworkers about what it's been like working the front lines during the COVID crisis. One main message: Get Vaccinated. 
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