Wyoming Medical Center doctor explains the difference between flu and COVID-19 symptoms

The outside of the Wyoming Medical Center
The outside of the Wyoming Medical Center(Haley Roedder)
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Flu season is coming up, and might be hard for Wyomingites to tell the difference between flu symptoms and symptoms from COVID-19. Dr. Andy Dunn, the Wyoming Medical Center chief of staff said the timing of body aches is one way to tell.

“[Paitents say] I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. It’s immediate it’s quick you don’t feel fatigued, weak and you have a high fever with influenza,” Dunn said.

Dunn said he’s still learning about these differences dealing with a novel virus. “COVID-19 seems to last longer and patients are fatigued, weak, and has a shortness of breath,” Dunn said.

Dunn suggests getting a flu vaccine for the up and coming season. “It helps and reduces the symptoms,” Dunn said. The flu mutates faster than COVID-19 and sometimes it seems like the flu shot doesn’t work. “The influenza vaccine mutates and so creating the antibodies for influenza. It reduces the severity of that illness you could potentially have without the vaccine,” Dunn said.

Community members aren’t wearing masks as often as they were last fall and Dunn is worried about the flu season this year. “Fundamentally, masking and staying home when you’re sick helps. If you avoid crowded places the chance is less likely you’re going to get influenza,” Dunn said.

WMC will host flu shot clinics on Oct. 2 and Oct 23.

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