Flu Season/COVID-19

Flu Season/COVID-19

During Flu Season, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reminds people to observe routine public health recommendations for the prevention of any strain of influenza:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This is how germs spread.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. The Flu is thought to spread person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected persons.
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school to limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

As the #1 preventive measure, the American Medical Association encourages everyone, six months and older, especially pregnant women, to be vaccinated against the flu. For more information about the vaccine, please click here.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the regular seasonal influenza and include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Some people with COVID-19 have reported additional symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. COVID-19 is thought to be spread via person-to-person contact through contaminated air droplets from coughing and sneezing by an infected person.

As with controlling the spread of other viruses, we urge everyone to take the following preventive measures:

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Using soap and hot water, wash for about 20 seconds. Be sure to also wash your fingertips.
  • Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.
  • As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
  • Wear masks in public settings around people who don’t live in your household and when you can’t stay 6 feet away from others. 
  • Individuals may be tested for COVID-19, but testing is not recommended unless you or your child begin to show signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection. 

If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, even if you are someone who suffers from regular seasonal allergies, you should stay home, separate yourself from others, monitor your health, and follow directions from local healthcare providers.