Flu season in the U.S. is off to its earliest start in nearly a decade – and it could be a bad one.
The primary strain circulating tends to make people sicker than other types. It is particularly hard on the elderly. Higher-than-normal reports of flu have come in. An uptick like this usually doesn’t happen until after Christmas. Flu-related hospitalizations are also rising earlier than usual, and there have already been two deaths in children. It’s not clear why the flu is showing up so early.
Urgent care clinics wants to make sure that you have all the information you need in case your family or someone you know encounters the flu. If your child has suddenly developed symptoms such as body aches, fever and chills, cough and possibly a sore throat it is very important to treat these symptoms within the first 48 hours.
Walk-in clinics provides a rapid flu test that only takes 10 minutes and tests for type A and B. It is very important to be tested within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms in order to have effective treatment. Also remember that Urgent Care co-pay is far less than ER co-pay and flu testing is almost always covered by insurance.
What is the expected course of the Flu?
- Fever usually lasts 3 to 5 days
- Runny nose, sneezing and sore throat usually last 1 week
- Cough may last 2 to 3 weeks but should gradually improve
Our urgent care clinic in College Park and Greenbelt are here for your family weekdays and weekends, i.e. Saturdays and Sundays. With our rapid flu test, we will try and make your visit as quick and comfortable as possible. You can also make a walk-in appointment online with our website and be seen right away!
Flu prevention is an important thing to consider when you’re trying to stay healthy, especially during flu season. So how can you prevent the flu?
- Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine
- People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. A quick rinse won’t do the trick. To kill germs, communicative disease experts recommend washing with soap for 15 to 30 seconds
- Keep your hands away from your face to reduce the chance of delivering viruses directly to your eyes or nose
- Make certain you’re getting your RDA for vitamin E and other antioxidants including A, C and B-complex vitamins and minerals
- Don’t smoke. Smoke paralyzes the cilia, the hair like cells lining the nose and airways that sweep incoming viruses away before they can infect
- Use tissues, not cloth handkerchiefs, to reduce spread of infection
- Get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Chronic sleep deprivation can reduce your immune response
- If you are sick with flu–like illness, we recommend that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them