Ahhh, the arrival of fall … Pumpkins, colorful leaves, the smell of cinnamon and THE FLU! It’s official, FLU SEASON IS HERE. Last week, Centra Care physicians saw an 88% increase from the previous week of confirmed flu cases among adults and children.
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Flu symptoms present very quickly, and are much more severe than cold symptoms. Common symptoms include:
- High Fever
- Severe Aches and Pains
- Exhaustion, Fatigue & Weakness
- Chest Discomfort
Less common symptoms include: sneezing, sore throat and stuffy nose.
The flu is very contagious. People carrying the influenza virus can spread the flu beginning 1 day before they notice flu symptoms and for up to 5 to 7 days after getting sick.
The influenza virus can lead to croup, bronchitis, ear infections and pneumonia.
Could you have the flu?
Centra Care has a quick influenza test, which can determine within minutes if you or your child has the flu. The earlier you are diagnosed can make a huge difference in how long the flu lasts or how severe it may become. Prescription anti-viral medications are very effective in shortening the duration of flu, BUT only if the medication is started within 48 hours of symptom onset.
Who Should Be Vaccinated?
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccinations are especially important for those at high risk for complications from the flu. According to the CDC, those groups include:
- Young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
- Vaccination is also important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high-risk people to keep from spreading flu to high-risk people.
- Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.