Ever-changing, the flu virus and the impact it causes, varies from year to year.
This flu season, area Centra Care locations are reporting much higher flu numbers than this same time last year. Make sure you’re educated on the facts of the flu so that your family is ready.
Centra Care doctors have seen an increase of flu cases in the following areas of town:
● Conway – up 400%
● Sanford & University – up 300% (kids)
● Azalea Park, Oviedo, Port Orange, and Sand Lake – up 200%
Generally flu symptoms come on quickly, and are much more severe than cold symptoms. Common symptoms include:
Severe Aches and Pains
Exhaustion, Fatigue & Weakness
Symptoms can also include: sneezing, sore throat and stuffy nose, however these aren’t as common. What’s known as the “stomach flu” actually has nothing to do with influenza. In fact, stomach issues are rarely a part of the flu.
Who Should Get The Flu Shot?
Everyone 6-months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. This “universal” flu vaccination recommendation was passed in an effort to expand protection against the flu to more people. Vaccination is especially important for those at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or those who live with or care for high-risk individuals.
According to the CDC, high-risk categories include:
Young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, and people 65 years and older.
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.
Why Get Protected?
The flu can be scary. Over 50,000 Americans died last year from flu-related complications. Seasonal flu shots are 60-90% effective in prevention. And even if you still get the flu, if you’ve had your shot, your symptoms will likely be less severe.
Contrary to what some people believe, it is impossible to get the flu from the flu shot. The flu vaccine generally takes about two weeks to be most effective in fighting off the virus, so it is possible to contract the virus during that time, but the vaccine is not the cause.
What To Do If You Suspect You Have The Flu:
Centra Care has a quick influenza test, that can confirm flu within minutes. 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 the flu, and all Centra Care locations carry this, but you need to start the medication within 48 hours of symptom onset, so don’t wait too long before being seen for flu symptoms.