Practicing healthy hygiene habits, wearing a face mask in public, avoiding close contact with others at large events, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces remain among the best ways to prevent getting ill this cold and flu season. Consider getting vaccinated to help prevent the spread of influenza and COVID-19 in your community. Different FDA-approved vaccines have been developed to prevent both illnesses, although variants keep popping up and additional booster shots may be required in the future.
While you can get either contagious respiratory illness even if vaccinated, your risks are much lower for severe complications. Severe complications from the flu or COVID-19 include pneumonia, stroke, heart attack, heart or brain inflammation, organ failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, respiratory failure, multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS), blood clots, secondary infections, sepsis, and death.