Flu season has officially begun.  Taking steps to protect yourself is important, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Dr. Ernest Wallace, a physician with Quincy Medical Group’s QMG Now, says the flu vaccine remains the best line of defense against influenza.

“The flu vaccine is far and away the best protection,” he says. “Get a flu shot and follow good health habits such as washing your hands often and practicing good health habits.”

With the ongoing pandemic, Dr. Wallace says symptoms of the flu may be hard to differentiate from those associated with COVID-19.

“Flu and COVID are very similar,” he explained. “Some subtle differences may be loss of smell or taste and more gastrointestinal symptoms with COVID, but all symptoms can certainly overlap.”

Symptoms of the flu include sudden onset of fever, chills, and body aches, headache, sore throat, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea are less common with influenza.

If you are experiencing symptoms of the flu, QMG Now provides you with quick access to care, so you can begin your treatment plan. QMG Now is located on the 2nd floor of 1025 Maine St. in Quincy and is open seven days a week with hours of Monday through Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

To utilize car check-in or to check availability of telehealth visits, call 217-222-6550, ext. 3433. For more information, visit quincymedgroup.com/QMGNow.