woman with the fluThe longest season of the year is back, and its arrival has come at the expense of everyone’s health. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza infections occur year-round but begin to spike in October before eventually peaking in February. Then May marks the official end of flu season, meaning we still have 8 months left of this dreaded time of the year.

The CDC recommends that everyone receive a flu shot during the Fall. The vaccine allows the body fend off influenza infections for the majority of the season. While people who have received a flu shot early in the season, they may need to get an additional vaccine. Fortunately, we here at AFC Doctors Express Urgent Care Southcenter are already equipped with flu shots and will continue to remain stocked until the end of the season.

While it’s easy for young people to write off the importance of getting a flu shot, it’s important to remember that the flu can strike anytime. You could contract the flu on your birthday, your wedding, or your vacation. Eliminate the risk and get your flu shot today.

Here are some helpful facts and tips about the flu:

Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Runny Nose
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • Nausea (especially prevalent in children)
  • Muscle Aches

How the Flu Spreads

People usually contract the flu by ingesting the virus through their nose or mouth. Primarily in the form of water droplets, flu particles will spread after an infected person sneezes or coughs. An uninfected person may contract the flu if they touch a surface with their hand that has come in contact with the flu virus, and then touches their eyes, mouth or nose.

Who’s Most at Risk?

People most at risk include young children, pregnant mothers and people over 65 years of age. For elderly individuals, especially ones with asthma, heart disease or diabetes, influenza may create complications that may result in life-threatening symptoms. These complications often include bronchitis and pneumonia, which are the most common factors for flu-related deaths.

How Long Do Flu Symptoms Last For?

If you’ve unknowingly contracted the flu, before you’ve even noticed your flu symptoms, you may be contagious. A day before the onset of symptoms, you may be contagious. While symptoms may dissipate after just a couple days, you may infect people up to 7 days after you’ve contracted the flu. Overall, these symptoms will predominantly disappear after one week.

How Do I Prevent the Flu?

Get your flu shot! This is 100% the most effective preventative measure. However, the CDC also recommends that you avoid people with the flu, covering your mouth while you sneeze or cough, and to frequently wash your hands.

To receive your flu shot, simply visit us at AFC Doctors Express Urgent Care Southcenter any day of the week! For more information, call us at 425.291.3300.