As we continue to treat numerous patients experiencing severe symptoms from this season’s flu virus, we’d like to take the time to carefully answer your commonly asked flu questions. If you or a loved one is currently experiencing severe flu-like symptoms, please visit your local Our Urgent Care for treatment!
When will it end?
According to the CDC, the circulation of this at-times fatal virus will continue to make its rounds into the spring months. “It’s been a tough flu season so far,” Dr. Dan Jernigan of the CDC said. “Flu is still happening all over the United States.” Prepare to see this year’s flu season extend into March, April and possibly even May.
Reports of children dying from flu is frightening, but the flu is usually not an emergency. The number one thing you can do to protect yourself is to get the flu shot. However, the flu shot does not protect you from every strain of the virus. If you experience flu-like symptoms whether you’ve had your flu shot or not, please seek treatment to prevent further spreading of influenza. You can conveniently walk into your local Our Urgent Care to be tested and treated if necessary.
Why is the flu so bad this year?
The flu vaccination is not 100% effective, due to the different variations of the ever-changing virus. “There are four species of influenza viruses — A, B, C, and D — and seasonal flu is caused by influenza A and B. Every year, different strains of these viruses circulate. The reason this year’s flu season is more severe than usual is because it involves the dreaded H3N2, a strain of the influenza A virus that causes more health complications and is more difficult to prevent.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What can I do to limit the chances of my family contracting the flu?
First and foremost, it is not too late to get a flu shot. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. It is highly recommended if you are pregnant* or are in constant contact with babies, elderly and/or others with compromised immune systems. While it’s easy to ignore symptoms as they first appear, it can take days before the flu fully surfaces.
While the vaccine is made to protect against the flu, it is not perfect. Be consistent with vaccinations by receiving them annually for better protection against the virus. In this way, your body is able to build up a variety of antibodies against different strains. Getting a flu vaccine will lessen your chances of contracting the flu, thus protecting others around you and the spread of the virus in general.
Keep in mind, in addition to washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds multiple times a day, and disinfecting regularly used surfaces, you need to drink plenty of water to help boost your immune system.
*Did you know expectant mothers can still get the flu shot? Studies have shown that flu vaccination of the mother during pregnancy can protect the baby after birth from flu infection for several months.
What can I do to better prepare for next year’s flu season?
- Get your vaccination by October. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take full effect.
- Practice healthy routines; stay active and keep an exercise routine in combination of a healthy diet.
- Stock up on necessary comforts and over-the counter medications so you don’t have to leave the house once you become sick and can concentrate on getting better!
- Always keep in mind that Our Urgent Care is happy to treat you and your loved ones when experiencing symptoms of the flu and other illnesses!
How will Our Urgent Care treat my symptoms?
If you are beginning to experience concerning symptoms but not sure if it is the flu, Our Urgent Care is here to help. Urgent care centers have the technology to test for the virus quickly and help with any discomforting symptoms. You can get in and out quickly and no appointments are necessary. The sooner you know if you are infected, the sooner you can get better and prevent the spread of influenza. Our Urgent Care makes it convenient for you to be seen, as all locations are open 7 days a week from 8 am – 8 pm!