Flu Season Statistics – Get Vaccinated Early!
The CDC states that the flu is responsible for more than 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations every year in the USA (NFID.org, 2009). For the 2013 to 2014 year, the CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine to protect against the three main strains of flu anticipated to ravage the population this year.
Take preventative measures into your own hands by receiving your flu vaccine early at your PCP’s office or at your nearest urgent care center in Houston. Many community centers and health centers also participate in discounted or free flu vaccine administration early in flu season.
Flu Vaccine Options
This year, there are three ways your local urgent care can administer flu vaccine:
- Injection- There are two intramuscular injections available. The “normal dose” is approved for patients who are 6 months and older. The “high dose” is approved for patients who are 65 and older.
- Intradermal- This injection is given through a very small, barely visible needle that patients have described as feeling like a mosquito bite. It is given into the skin, not the muscle, and is approved for patients ages 18 through 65.
- Intranasal- This is commonly known as the “flu mist.” The intranasal vaccine is approved for patients who are between 2 years and 49 years of age. This is considered a “live” vaccine, and it should only be given to patients who currently do not have any other sicknesses, like a respiratory infection.
If You Already Have the Flu
Experts believe that the flu spreads in droplets and can infect healthy people when they touch a surface an infected person touched and proceeded to eat or touch their faces without washing their hands. Additionally, the flu can spread if an infected person sneezes or coughs near a healthy individual, allowing the infected saliva droplets to reach the healthy individual. Needless to say, the flu virus is very contagious, and you can even spread the virus even before you experience symptoms.
By the time you experience symptoms, you have already been infected with the flu virus from one to three days. Common flu symptoms may include:
- Fever and chills
- Respiratory problems like coughing and runny nose
- Excessive fatigue
- Muscle aches
- Diarrhea and vomiting
Not everyone experiences the flu virus the same way. If you are feeling ill, it is important to have your symptoms evaluated with your PCP or local urgent care center. Flu complications hospitalize 200,000 individuals every year, according to the CDC. Elderly patients and young patients account for nearly 80% of flu related mortalities.
If you experience moderate to severe flu symptoms over the weekend when your PCP’s office is closed, visit West Oaks Urgent Care to address your flu symptoms and possible flu medications. No appointment is necessary.