Flu season is here. Are you ready?
While the flu is preventable, it is still incredibly common, affecting millions of Americans each year. Last year’s flu season was severe, causing hospitalizations in both children and adults. While you might think that you don’t need to see your doctor, there are some instances when a visit to our office can help you feel better sooner and even prevent certain health complications. We offer same day sick visits!
What is the flu?
The flu is a contagious illness that infects the respiratory tract (chest, nose and throat) usually during the winter months. There are three main types of influenza viruses: type A, B and C. While it can infect anyone it often affects the elderly, as well as those with weak immune systems or other health problems. Influenza should not be confused with the stomach flu or “bug”, which is a different condition.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
If you or your child has the flu it’s normal for symptoms to mimic that of a cold at first; however, unlike a cold, flu symptoms usually get worse. Symptoms of the flu include,
- Aching muscles
- Chills and sweats
- Fever over 100.4 F
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Persistent cough
- Nasal congestion
When should you see a doctor for your flu?
If you are a healthy individual and your symptoms are mild then you may not need to see a doctor; however, you should visit our office if,
- Your symptoms get worse despite rest and home care
- Your fever improves but then suddenly gets worse
- Your symptoms don’t get better within two weeks
- You develop a chronic cough
- You have pain in a localized region like the chest or ear
Who is at high risk for flu-related complications?
There are certain factors that can put you at high risk for hospitalizations and other complications as a result of the flu. It’s particularly important to protect yourself and see your doctor right away if you develop the flu and,
- You are over 65 years old
- You have a compromised immune system
- You are pregnant
- You are living in a nursing home
- You have a chronic health problem (e.g. diabetes; heart disease)
It is not too late to get the flu shot this year. So call us today at (248) 690-9181. We would be happy to schedule your next visit.
The information is provided to you by Dr. Joe Gorz at Neighborhood Primary Care.