Runny noses, sore throats, and headaches are all symptoms of both COVID and the flu. What can you do when you are not sure what's ailing you?
The easiest way to tell if you have COVID-19 or not is to use a rapid test. Dr Stanley Enebeli, the medical health officer, covering the Weyburn and Estevan area of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said.
If it is positive, then you have COVID-19.
If it is negative then it is likely one of the other respiratory viruses, such as the rhinovirus, also known as the common cold.
The Ministry of Healths' most recent report which covered between October 22 – November 04, 2023, stated that there was an increase from 396 to 442 positive COVID-19 cases between October 28 and the most recent week.
The same report stated Influenza test positivity increased from 42 to 166 positive lab detections.
The current strains of COVID-19 impacting the southeast are the XBB and its sub variants, and EG.5 and its subvariants.
Vaccines are recommended for everyone six months and older, and for anyone who has any underlying conditions, or are at a higher risk.
“Our senior population, people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems, children, those who are pregnant and even caregivers and contacts with these people who are at high risk” explained Enebeli.
Vaccines have been updated and are targeted towards protecting against the current COVID-19 strains.
“These vaccines are safe, and they are effective. They keep us healthy and prevent serious illness like we're seeing an increasing trend in our test positivity.”
People who contract COVID-19 after they received the vaccine often experience much less severe symptoms compared with unvaccinated people.
Self-assessment of risk is also recommended. If you are at high risk, or caring for someone who is high risk then consider the environment you are going into, if it is crowded you might want to wear a mask, and as always wash your hands.
You can book appointments or find a list of available clinics for yourself or your family at www.4flu.ca. You are also able to receive the vaccines through your local pharmacies.
“I know that we are getting fatigued with the shots and, you know, COVID lingering for a long time, but basically this is one protection that we have, and I do encourage us strongly to get that protection.” Said Enebeli
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