Tag Archives: Vaccinations

Flu Season Arrives Early!

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 themflu season

What Do You Need to Know About Vaccination for Travel?

Travelers to other countries often face health issues they wouldn’t ordinarily experience at home. To minimize your risks of becoming seriously ill when traveling abroad, you should find out in advance whether any specific immunizations may be recommended for travel to the region of the world you’ll be visiting. It’s also a good time to review your own immunization history.

vaccinations international trip selfie

Your next trip could end with a Turtle selfie!

It’s best to schedule a visit to your doctor four to six weeks before an international trip. Since your body needs time to build up immunity after receiving a vaccine and many vaccines are given in a series over time, getting an early start on your immunizations is the best way to protect yourself. Even if you are making a last-minute trip or plan to leave in less than four weeks, you should still check with your doctor to see if any vaccines or preventive medications might be recommended.

The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) divides travel vaccinations into three categories: routine, recommended, and required. The only vaccine classified as “required” by International Health Regulations is the yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America.

Routine vaccinations 

Routine vaccinations are those that are normally administered, usually during childhood, in the United States. These include immunizations against

  • diphtheria,
  • tetanus,
  • pertussis,
  • measles,
  • mumps,
  • rubella,
  • pneumococcus.
  • poliomyelitis,
  • hepatitis B,
  • hepatitis A,
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b,
  • rotavirus,
  • meningococcus,
  • human papillomavirus, and
  • Varicella,

International travelers should make sure that these vaccinations are up to date and that no boosters are required, since many conditions which are rare in the U.S. due to immunity in the general population may be more common in other countries.

Recommended Vaccinations

Recommended vaccinations are given to protect travelers from illnesses that occur routinely in other parts of the world. Express Healthcare Doctors determine which vaccines are recommended for international travel on an individual basis, taking into consideration your destination, whether you will be spending time in rural areas, the season of the year you are traveling, your age, your overall health status, and your immunization history.

Required Vaccinations

The only vaccine required by International Health Regulations is yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Meningococcal vaccination is required by the government of Saudi Arabia for annual travel during the Hajj.

Our board certified physicians will provide comprehensive health care that includes consultation and immunization services; after checking your current health and ask about your medical history and knowing your destination the physician will offer appropriate vaccines (according to CDC Guidelines) and optimum and up to date health information for your travel needs (such as insect precautions and insect repellents, Anti-Malarial, water and food precautions, current outbreaks and health safety measures).

You can walk-in to our urgent care clinics any day during the year. Our office personnel and medical staff speak English, Spanish, Somali, Chinese and Arabic. Appointments are recommended at Med-Ped Health Care (301-345-4400), however the physicians can see patients on a walk-in basis at Express Healthcare (301-345-6600).