Plan Now to Prevent Getting Sick Later
Looking forward to celebrating holiday gatherings with family and friends, flying off on a tropical winter getaway, starting a happy new year? Then, best get everyone in the family vaccinated now! Nothing can ruin family plans and put a damper on fun-time faster than coming down with the flu.
Flu season in the United States starts around October with the highest number of outbreaks occurring in the holiday months and peaking in February. It takes about two weeks after vaccination to fully develop resistance. So the earlier everyone gets vaccinated, before the chance of exposure, the better – and the protection will last through the flu season.
2015-2016 Flu Season Vaccines
Doctors’ offices and urgent care centers are already offering flu shots. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this season both trivalent (three component) and quadrivalent (four component) influenza vaccines will be available. The trivalent vaccine protects against the three most common viruses: influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2), and influenza B. The quadrivalent vaccine also protects against the B/Brisbane virus.
Ask your health care provider, which vaccine is best for you.
Who Should Get the Flu Vaccine
The flu may be common, but don’t take it lightly. It is highly contagious and some people develop serious complications including pneumonia and blood infections. Thousands of people die and many more are hospitalized in the United States every year because of the flu.
People at the highest risk of complications are:
- Infants and young children
- Adults aged 65 years or older
- Pregnant women
- Persons with certain medical conditions or weakened immune systems.
If you have children between ages six months and eight years old, they may need two doses of vaccine to be fully protected from flu. The doses should be given at least 4 weeks apart. Also, infants younger than six months are at higher risk for complications but are too young to get the flu vaccine. It’s important that caregivers are vaccinated to help protect them.
Where To Get Help If You Get Sick
Vaccination doesn’t guarantee you won’t get sick. Cold is often mistaken for flu. The difference is that cold symptoms are milder and worsen over a few days before recovery begins; flu symptoms come on suddenly and intensive from the start, however vaccination can lessen the severity of flu symptoms.
Sudden sore throat, fever of 100° or higher, chills, body aches, chest congestion, cough, and extreme fatigue are symptoms of flu. It can be treated with influenza antiviral drugs. People who are at high risk of complication should be treated as quickly as possible. If your health care provider is not available, go to the nearest urgent care clinic or emergency room.
The Best Remedy for Flu
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Getting everyone’s flu shot now, while it’s convenient, can help you avoid the misery of the flu and inconvenience of canceled plans later.
Flu vaccine is available at these locations with convenient web check in:
- 24 CareNow urgent care locations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Call to check on the availability of flu mist for children.
- 6 Medical City Children’s Urgent Care locations in Allen, Dallas, Flower Mound, Frisco, McKinney, and Plano specializing in pediatric care.
For emergency treatment of flu symptoms, Medical City Healthcare has 17 emergency locations with FastERTX average wait times posted online, including our newest location Medical City ER in Preston Center. Visit FastERTX.com to find the Medical City Healthcate ER nearest you.
When Should You Go to the ER with the Flu?
Texasflu.org (Texas Department of State Health Services)
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.