Concerns about contracting COVID and the flu

Less universal masking and social distancing means higher chances of coming down with both viruses
Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 2:40 PM EDT
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Maine (WABI) - As Mainers continue to relax restrictions when it comes to COVID, there’s growing concern about another virus- influenza.

With cases of the flu already showing up in our state, doctors are sounding the alarm that we could be in for a rough season.

Symptoms of coronavirus and influenza mirror each other, so the only way to truly determine which virus you have is through a nasal swab done at a doctor’s office.

And don’t be fooled- getting vaccinated for COVID does not keep you safe from contracting the flu.

“It does not protect you against the flu,” says Dr. Lisa Billings, DO, Physician director, Primary Care at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “The flu vaccine is its own entity. It’s important to get the flu vaccine in addition to your COVID vaccine or your COVID booster to keep you protected. It is safe to get them both at the same time. So if you’re due for your Bilvalent COVID vaccine and you’re due for your flu shot, you can get them both at the same time.”

The good news is that symptoms of the flu tend to lighten up faster than COVID and are less contagious.

That being said- you still need to be fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of medication to be in the clear of passing influenza on to others.

For the latest coronavirus cases recorded by the Maine CDC, log onto

For the latest influenza cases recorded by the Maine CDC, log onto