There are 5 reported cases of coronavirus in the US — and 15 million flu cases

Elizabeth Howe
January 28, 2020 - 12:33 pm
Flu Vaccine

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Five cases of the contagious and potentially deadly coronavirus have been confirmed in the United States — but what about the disease that has taken 8,200 Americans this season alone? 

Some of the key symptoms of coronavirus are the same as the flu; sneezing, shortness of breath, and fever 

So far, 15 million cases of the flu have been reported in the U.S. during the 2019-2020 season according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Did you get your flu shot? 

Veterans enrolled with the VA health care system can get free flu shots this season at any of the 9,600 Walgreens locations across the country, thanks to a partnership between VA and Walgreens. 

Enrolled in the VA healthcare system? Get your free flu shot at any Walgreens

From now until March 31, 2020, veterans can visit any Walgreens — no appointment necessary — and tell the pharmacist you receive care at a VA facility.

You'll need your Veterans Health Identification Card and a second form of photo ID. Then, Walgreens can electronically send vaccination information to the VA and your immunization record will be updated. 

The VA-Walgreens partnership is part of VA's eHealth Exchange project.

Of course, you can also get your flu shot at your local VA health care facility. 

Concern over coronavirus is valid. However, avoid non-essential travel to Wuhan, China — the outbreak's epicenter. Patients who traveled to China in the past 14 days with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should seek medical care as soon as possible.

“Lacking specific treatment,” U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Dr. David Shih said. “We must be extra vigilant about basic prevention measures — frequent handwashing, effective cough and sneeze hygiene, avoiding sick individuals, and self-isolating when sick.”

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