Flu and COVID-19

Developmental Disabilities Administration

November 12, 2021

Flu and Pneumonia Care Provider Bulletin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and seasonal flu (most often just called “flu”) is caused by infection with one of many influenza viruses that spread annually among people.

Because some symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, people may need to be tested to tell what virus is causing their illness. People can be infected with both a flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 at the same time. In general, COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. Compared with people who have flu infections, people who have COVID-19 can take longer to show symptoms and be contagious for longer. This FAQ page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.

Department of Health flu news

Department of Health offers regular updates on flu activity in Washington. Don't forget to get a flu vaccine this season. According to the DOH, Flu activity was kept low last season because of vaccination, social distancing, masking, school closures and limited travel. Now that many pandemic restrictions are lifting, flu has a much higher chance of spreading. We can all do our part to prevent illness and hospitalizations caused by flu by getting vaccinated.

Care providers can find information on flu and pneumonia in DSHS' Developmental Disabilities Administration Care Provider Bulletin. The online publication includes:

  • Symptoms
  • Groups at increased risk
  • Prevention tips
  • Treatment
  • Warning signs - when to seek medical attention
  • Resources

More Information


Find more Developmental Disabilities Administration Care Provider Bulletins on our website.

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