The flu is tearing through Central Florida in what seems to be an early flu season this year. Last week, Centra Care doctors saw an overall 62% increase in adult cases and a 66% increase in pediatric cases. The locations at Azalea Park and Lee Road saw a 400% jump in confirmed flu tests. Don’t panic, but take the flu seriously.
If you haven’t already gotten a flu shot, do it now. The 2012-2013 flu vaccine will protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season.
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Generally flu symptoms come on quickly, and are much more severe than cold symptoms. Common symptoms include:
- High Fever
- Severe Aches and Pains
- Exhaustion, Fatigue & Weakness
- Chest Discomfort
Symptoms can also include: sneezing, sore throat and stuffy nose, however these aren’t as common.
What To Do If You Suspect You Have The Flu:
Centra Care has a quick influenza test, which can tell within minutes if you have the flu. The earlier you are diagnosed can make a difference in how long the flu lasts or how severe it may become. Prescription anti-viral medications (like Tamiflu) are very effective in shortening the duration of flu, and all Centra Care locations carry this – – BUT you need to start the medication within 48 hours of symptom onset or they won’t work – so don’t wait too long before being seen for flu symptoms.
Who Should Be Vaccinated?
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it is especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications. According to the CDC, those 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.
Every Centra Care location treats adult and pediatric patients without an appointment or you can make an Online Reservation at centracare.org. FLU SHOTS ARE ALWAYS JUST $30. If you or someone in your family needs a vaccination or suffers from an illness, allergy or injury that needs medical attention, Centra Care has 21 locations, serving you 7-days a week.