About the Flu
Influenza (“flu”) is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get flu, and the virus strikes suddenly and can last several days.
Symptoms vary, but can include fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose. Flu can lead to more serious infections and each year, thousands of people are hospitalized from flu complications.
Flu is also more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greatest risk.
The easiest protection against flu that you can do for yourself and your loved ones is a simple flu vaccine. A flu shot can keep you from getting flu, make the flu less severe if you do get it, and keep you from spreading flu to your family and others.
Righttime Medical Care is pleased to offer the flu shot to anyone aged 6 months and up. Our version is quadrivalent (offering protection against four strains of influenza) and are not preservative-free. Since there is no live flu virus in flu shots, they cannot cause the flu.
It’s recommended that children 8 years and younger have two doses of the flu vaccine at least one month apart in order to maximize the antibody and protective response to all components of the vaccine.
This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that the FluMist® nasal spray not be given due to a lack of effectiveness. Additionally, we cannot administer the flu vaccine to patients with egg allergies, chicken allergies, or a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).
Practice Good Health Habits
Maintaining good habits can reduce exposure to germs and prevent their spread. During flu season, Righttime recommends the following:
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick
- Stay home from work, school or errands when sick to prevent exposing others to illness
- Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue or the inside of your elbow to prevent the spread of germs
- Wash hands often with soap and water to help protect from germs and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when water isn’t available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs often spread when someone touches a contaminated surface and then touches his or her face
Stop the Spread of Germs
In addition to practicing good health habits, clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched. Focusing on countertops, desktops, doorknobs, faucet handles, remote controls, keyboards, phones, tablets and toys can help reduce the spread of germs, including the flu virus.