SAUGET, ILLINOIS – SIHF Healthcare wants to remind their patients and the public of the importance of flu shots, especially this flu season. SIHF Healthcare is using National Influenza Vaccination Week, which is December 6 – 12, 2020, to remind everyone to get their flu shot.

The symptoms of the common cold, flu, and now COVID-19 are sometimes very similar, so it’s important to make sure that you are taking the available precautions – like an influenza vaccination (flu shot) – to protect yourself.

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Some differences between a cold, flu and COVID-19 are:

+ Cold symptoms are usually mild and tend not to be associated with fever or headache. A runny nose is more likely to be a cold than the flu, especially if that’s your only symptom.

+ Flu symptoms can onset quickly, while COVID symptoms are usually more gradual or appear several days after exposure.

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+ COVID-19 is more likely if you have lost your sense of taste or smell.

You can protect yourself from all three if you follow the COVID rules and wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently. You may not be sick, and those you come in contact with may not have COVID-19, but they could still pass along a cold or flu.

It’s also important to remember that if you aren’t sure, a test is available to determine if you have COVID-19. You can schedule a COVID test in Belleville, Effingham, or Wood River by calling 618.646.2596.

And, you can prevent the flu by getting your flu shot NOW. Flu shots are approved for children 6 months and older and special flu shots exist for those 65 and older. Flu shots will be available into 2021, but the sooner you get yours, the sooner you’re protected.

Call your nearest SIHF Healthcare health center to schedule an appointment today. More information on flu shots and our locations is available online at

At SIHF Healthcare, your health is our mission and we want you to be safe and healthy.

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