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A shot in the arm: It’s still not too late to get a flu vaccine

Tonya Hansen gives a flu shot during a drive-thru flu shot clinic. Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Tonya Hansen, a registered nurse with the Utah County Health Department, gives Brooke Barnes a flu shot during a drive-thru flu shot clinic at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds on Wednesday. In October, Dr. Mark Greenwood, medical director for family medicine with the Intermountain Medical Group, told the Deseret News coughing, fatigue, fever, chills, aches, pains, nausea and shortness of breath are all potential symptoms of both COVID-19 and influenza. The biggest differentiator between the two illnesses is the loss of taste and sense of smell, which only presents in COVID-19 cases, he said. Getting vaccinated for the flu will make it easier to rule out that illness and diagnose COVID-19. In addition, Greenwood said it is possible for people to get infected with both the flu and coronavirus at the same time, a dangerous combination. A co-infection could increase a person’s chances of pneumonia, difficulty breathing, hospitalization and death.