• ‘Tis the season for cold and flu

    ‘Tis the season for cold and flu

    As the temperatures get cooler and the holiday season approaches, ‘tis the season for cold and flu. This time of year is usually when we start seeing people getting sick with runny noses, cough, and congestion.

    As the temperature drops, more people are staying inside and when one person is sick, it can quickly spread to others.

    Both the cold and the flu are viral infections of the respiratory tract, which includes the nose, throat, airways, and lungs. Symptoms of the two can be similar, but there are some differences. Cold symptoms usually come on gradually and can include a sore throat, cough, congestion and a runny nose.  A cold can last for a week or longer especially in children, the elderly, and those in poor health.

    Influenza symptoms usually come on suddenly and can include a fever greater 100 degrees Fahrenheit, chills, body and muscle aches, headache, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and extreme tiredness. Sometimes you might even have some nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Influenza illness can last anywhere from one to two weeks or longer.

    To confirm a diagnosis of flu, your doctor will swab your nose for the virus. Generally flu can be treated with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medication targeting the symptoms. In some cases, antiviral medications are given to lessen the severity of illness. These antiviral medications are most effective if started within two days of symptom onset. Please be aware that antibiotics are not effective against the flu virus.

    The providers at the Fairview Family Clinic strongly suggests that everyone get a flu vaccination. Influenza vaccination is the best prevention measure available against the flu.

    If you have not already received the flu vaccination, the sooner the better. It is never too late to get a flu vaccination.

    It is important to remember that it takes up to two weeks after receiving the flu vaccine before your body can protect against the flu.

    By getting a flu vaccine for yourself and your entire family every season, you can help prevent flu-related illnesses, missed school, work, and even more serious flu-related complications.

    Our providers also suggests practicing good hand hygiene. It’s the simplest and most effective way to help prevent the spread of germs.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following steps for hand hygiene (with soap and water): 

    • Wash your hands with running water and soap.
    • Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds.
    • Pay special attention to your wrists, the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
    • Leave the water running while you dry your hands on a paper towel.
    • Use the paper towel as a barrier between the faucet and your clean hands when you turn off the water. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers by saturating your hands with the product and rubbing your hands together until dry.

     

    Our providers also want to remind you that it is a good idea to always have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer available when needed (i.e., purse, car, pocket, etc.).

    If you have not received a flu shot this year, appointments are still available. Call (580) 227-2585 to schedule your flu shot today.

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