Stay healthy during flu season in the time of COVID-19


If you feel under the weather, make sure to visit a clinic like TrustCare to get evaluated by professionals. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Flu season is here, Birmingham. Curious about what that means in the era of COVID-19? So are we!

In order to learn more about flu season 2021 and quash some common misconceptions, we sat down with Tim Fleming, a Nurse Practitioner with TrustCare in Birmingham. Keep reading to learn more!

How to Prepare for Flu Season 2021

Tim Fleming, a Nurse Practitioner with TrustCare in Birmingham. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

To learn more about Flu Season this year, we turned to the experts at TrustCare.

Originally from New Brockton, Alabama, Tim Fleming has been a Family Nurse Practitioner at TrustCare for nearly two years. Before joining the team, Tim spent 20 years as an Active Duty member of the U.S. Navy, providing Primary Care for countless pediatric and adult patients. Now, Tim lives in Birmingham with his wife and two teenage girls.

When does Flu Season typically take place in Birmingham?

Tim: “Here in Alabama, Flu Season typically starts when it gets cold around October and ends around May. However, it’s started a little earlier this year—we saw our first case in July. Luckily, we haven’t seen a lot of Flu cases at this point. I think a lot of people are still wearing masks, keeping a social distance and generally being a bit more cautious in their day-to-day life, as far as keeping their hands and surfaces clean.”

I feel under the weather. Is it COVID-19 or the flu? How can I tell?

Tim: “The symptoms for COVID-19 and the Flu can be similar; body aches, fatigue, fever, etc. If you start to feel those symptoms, I recommend heading to a clinic to get evaluated and find out if you have the Flu, COVID-19 or even another type of virus.”

If you need to get tested for COVID-19 or the Flu, you can visit any of TrustCare’s three Birmingham-area locations. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Is it safe to get the Flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

Tim: “There are usually no side effects from getting either vaccines, other than a little fatigue or localized soreness in the arm where you received the shot. It’s impossible to contract the Flu or COVID-19 from either vaccine—it’s not a live virus.

However, if you do feel fatigue or body aches, hydrate and take Tylenol or Motrin and you should bounce back quickly!”

What steps can I take to reduce my risk of catching & spreading the flu or COVID-19?

Tim: “Luckily, most of the steps that we’re taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are applicable for the Flu as well. Keep a safer distance from people; frequently wash your hands with soap and water; cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue & wash your hands. And if you feel ill, separate yourself from others and get tested.

The most important precaution that you can take for COVID-19 and Flu, is to get the COVID-19 and Flu vaccines if you’re eligible. That’s number one. If you do that, it’ll be a big help in controlling the Flu and COVID-19 cases across the state.”

I’ve taken all these steps, and I still came down with something. What should I do?

Tim: “If you experience these symptoms, my number one advice is to come to a clinic like TrustCare right away. If you test positive for either illness, we have fluid and medication that you can take to keep your symptoms from being too severe. The sooner you’re diagnosed, the sooner we can prescribe you treatment.”

Feeling ill? Visit a TrustCare clinic in Birmingham to get the help you need 🩺

TrustCare has clinics located throughout Birmingham. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

If you’re feeling ill this flu season, don’t wait! Head to one of TrustCare‘s three Birmingham-area locations to get evaluated:

Have more questions about COVID-19 or flu season? Tag @trustcare_health on social media to get the answers you need!

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Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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