Preparing for Flu Season
The flu season varies, depending on where you live in the world, but it is generally accepted that the fall and winter in the United States are the times when flu symptoms are most prominent. With children heading back to school, and the weather turning colder by the day, it is important to know what steps you can take to ensure that you and your family are prepared for flu season. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, younger people will be hit hard this flu season. Before flu season breaks out into full force this fall, you can get all of the information you need from your local urgent care in Orange County.
How to Prevent the Flu
The best thing to do in order to help your family this flu season is to take steps to prevent getting it in the first place. This can be done by getting the flu vaccine from your doctor or at a medical clinic, and/or by taking preventative antiviral medications. If you are healthy but are exposed to a person that has the flu, taking antiviral medicine can help you avoid getting sick. There are four such drugs that have been approved for the treatment of the flu in the U.S.
- Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
- Zanamivir (Relenza)
- Amantadine (Symmetrel)
- Rimantadine (Flumadine)
Early treatment for the flu is always the best option, so you can attack the virus before it has the chance to develop in your system. Remember, flu medications can be 70% to 90% effective, so it is crucial that you talk with a medical professional about your options.
Everyone in your family over 6 months old should receive the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available in your area. The vaccine will last for one flu season, which is why it is smart to get the vaccine before the start of flu season every year. The vaccine is available in two types: trivalent and quadrivalent. Features of the trivalent vaccine include:
- Protects against A/H3N2, A/H1N1 and influenza B
- Traditional flu shots (anyone 6 moths or older)
- Intradermal flu shots, which use a shorter needle (ages 18-64)
- High dose shots (over 65)
- Cell-based shots using viruses grown in animal cells (over 18)
- Recombinant shots created using DNA technology (18-49 and with severe egg allergies)
Quadrivalent vaccines are available as traditional flu shots or as a nasal spray (not for pregnant women) and protect against A/H3N2, A/H1N1, and two strains of influenza B.
What Happens if You Show Symptoms?
If you or a loved one starts to show symptoms of the flu, such as fever, chills, or a cough and/or sore throat, immediately head to your urgent care in Orange County. We will examine you and help get the treatment needed so you can start to feel better. Since these symptoms can come up without warning, visiting our urgent care facility allows you to save time by not having to wait days or weeks for an appointment at your physician’s office. Call us today to learn more tips for flu season at 949-548-8400 or visit us in Costa Mesa.