It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, there is a chill in the air, kids are picking out their favorite costumes for Halloween, and we are getting ready for Thanksgiving. This time of year also should remind you to get a flu shot. It’s the time to protect not only yourself but your family and your community. There seems to be more questions this year. Navigating flu season: what you should know.
To be clear, the CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot this year. The most vulnerable are seniors over age 65 and young children with respiratory issues like asthma and illness which lowers immunity. There is more to understand about the 2022-2023 flu season: preparing your family.
If you have ever gone to your doctor with a terrible sore throat, or what you thought could be the flu, expecting a prescription for an antibiotic to knock it out, you were likely disappointed and maybe a little perturbed when the doctor did not give you one. The truth is that an antibiotic is just not effective in certain cases, and in fact, that is true of many ailments.
Here is a review of illnesses that do or do not require antibiotics and why.
In the year of COVID getting a flu shot is especially important. Millions of Americans suffer with flu symptoms every year, and thousands have died each year from the flu. Yes, that’s right, thousands. Only half the population normally gets a flu shot, but there are serious reasons why getting a flu shot this year is so important.
The holiday season is here, and while it’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also one of the most stressful. Schedules are full, it’s cold and flu season, and everyone is trying to accomplish a lot in a short period of time.
All the bustle and stress of the holiday season can easily cause some people to overlook disease prevention, and cutting corners during daily tasks and chores can easily lead to the spread of infectious diseases and put a damper on your holiday celebrations. The following tips can help you and your loved one stay healthy this holiday season.
Winter weather means lots of snow and ice. Staying dry is one of the best ways to prevent illness. When the temperature drops and it’s snowing outside, wear a heavy coat, gloves, a hat, and waterproof shoes or boots. While it’s a myth that being cold causes a cold, staying outside when you’re cold and wet taxes your body and can lead to poor immune system function.
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Wash Your Hands Frequently
Germs and disease-causing bacteria thrive on dirty surfaces and spread easily. Make sure to wash your hands before and after all meals and after personal contact with others. Use warm running water and soap, washing for at least 20 full seconds. Be sure to keep your fingernails trimmed to reasonable lengths and clean under them as well every time you wash.
RELATED ARTICLE: The Best Hand Washing Techniques
Check Your Vaccination Schedule
Make sure you and your family are up to date on your vaccinations. Try to get them out of the way before the winter weather starts if possible, and pay close attention for any signs of adverse reactions.
The holiday season is a great time to enjoy home cooked meals with friends and family, but be careful not to overdo it. Eating too much is taxing on the body and can cause an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal issues. Foods with high levels of sugar can trigger inflammation and other issues.
Ensure All Food Is Cooked Properly
When serving holiday meals, use instant-read meat thermometers to ensure all prepared meats are cooked to appropriate temperatures. Undercooked meat can carry diseases like salmonella and may lead to serious illness.
Get Adequate Rest
You might be very busy over the holidays, but you shouldn’t neglect sleep. Aim for at least six to eight hours of sleep each night and adjust your schedule accordingly. Burning yourself out and tackling your holiday errands without adequate rest is not only stressful for your body, but also leaves you more vulnerable to illness and more prone to accidental injuries.
Come to Premier Urgent Care for Fast, Efficient Treatment
When these health issues do arise, Premier Urgent Care in Chicago can provide safe and timely treatment. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for immediate care.
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Many viruses can make people feel miserable, but influenza strains can be particularly dangerous. Every year, Americans have plenty of options when it comes to low-cost shots, but everyone should know the warning signs and telltale symptoms of the flu so they can seek medical treatment right away. The flu is potentially deadly to some people, especially very young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems or immune system disorders.
Similarities to Other Viruses
The influenza virus causes many symptoms similar to other viral infections like the common cold, such as coughing, headaches, and a fever. While the common cold usually causes sneezing, sore throat, and congestion, the flu often causes intense body aches, fatigue, and a high fever lasting several days. A cold can build up symptoms gradually over several days while flu symptoms generally have a rapid onset.
The common cold may only result in minor complications whereas the flu virus can lead to potentially life-threatening conditions like pneumonia. Medical researchers have identified more than 100 types of cold viruses, and the influenza virus mutates on a regular basis, requiring the medical treatment community to develop new vaccines every year. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, so most people who develop the flu simply let the sickness run its course while treating the symptoms. However, some antiviral medications such as Tamiflu can help symptoms and shorten recovery time for some patients.
Flu Treatment with Tamiflu
Oseltamivir, commonly sold under the brand name Tamiflu, is an oral antiviral medication that can reduce symptoms like stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, chills, muscle aches, and coughing and shorten recovery time by one to two days. Tamiflu works best when taken as soon as symptoms appear, or even as soon as an individual confirms exposure to the flu. To treat the flu, prescribing doctors generally advise two tablets each day for five days. To prevent flu symptoms after exposure, one tablet every day for ten days is the usual prescription.
Premier Urgent Care in Chicago can provide Tamiflu prescriptions to patients who test positive for influenza. Flu symptoms can develop very quickly after exposure, so prompt treatment is necessary if you want to avoid a week or longer in bed with awful symptoms. Tamiflu is a low-risk medication with minimal side effects, but it may not be appropriate for patients taking certain kidney medications or blood pressure medications. Our healthcare providers can discuss with you if you are an appropriate candidate for the medication.
If a family member or coworker recently developed the flu, it’s a wise idea to get tested for exposure, especially is you or your child is in a high-risk population, and begin treatment with Tamiflu before symptoms appear and disrupt your life. Premier Urgent Care offers several options for flu prevention and treatment, so consider a flu test if you believe you’ve recently been exposed to influenza.
For more information on the influenza and other injuries and illnesses visit our urgent care services page or https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.
Better Providers. Better Care.
Learn why patients have come to trust Premier Urgent Care. Visit https://premierucchicago.com.