Don't let the flu sneak up on you

by Statcare Urgent Medical Care

Influenza (flu) activity is rising in the U.S. at this time. Outpatient visits for influenza-like illness are above the national baseline. Activity is expected to continue during the coming weeks, as per the CDC.The CDC recommends a yearly influenza vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. It is not too late to get vaccinated.

Most common symptoms of the flu are fever (temperature higher than 100 F), cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headache and fatigue. Most people who get the flu will recover in several days to less than two weeks, but some will develop complications as a result of the flu. A wide range of complications can be caused by the influenza viruses. Sinus and ear infections are examples of moderate complications from the flu, while pneumonia is a serious flu complication that can result from either influenza virus infection alone or from co-infection of flu virus and bacteria. Other known complications are: myocarditis (inflammation or swelling of the heart), encephalitis (swelling of the brain), myositis (swelling and degeneration of muscle tissue).

Flu can also make chronic medical problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic heart disease may experience a worsening of this condition triggered by the flu.

During the week ending February 4, 2017, influenza activity level was categorized as geographically widespread in NY State. There were 5,337 laboratory-confirmed influenza reports, a 2% increase over last week. Of the 1,978 specimens submitted to NYS WHO/NREVSS laboratories, 527 (26.64%) were positive for influenza (NYS DOH).

We offer the influenza vaccine at our clinics. We also offer the in-house flu wash test for patients who are symptomatic. CDC recommends prompt treatment with influenza antiviral drugs for people who test positive for the flu. When used for treatment, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by 1 or 2 days. They also can prevent serious flu complications.

Sources:

CDC
NYS DOH