This New Year, Flu numbers continue to skyrocket in Central Florida. Last week, Centra Care locations had a record-number of positive flu tests. What’s even worse is that cases of Pneumonia, a possible complication of the flu, increased by nearly 100%.
If you haven’t already, please get a flu shot this week. It is proven to be the best prevention against the dreaded virus.
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
Symptoms can also include: sneezing, sore throat and stuffy nose, however these aren’t as common.
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.
Could 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 are very effective in shortening the duration of Flu, BUT you need to start the medication within 48 hours of symptom onset for maximum efficacy.
Who Should Be Vaccinated?
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a Flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccinations are especially important for those at high risk for complications. 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.
- 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.