There is a lot of information regarding the flu. With COVID on the top of everyone’s mind, it can be easy to forget about flu season. At AFC Urgent Care North Andover, we have all the information you could need to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Recognizing symptoms of the virus and knowing how it is spread can help prevent spreading it to others. It’s important to eliminate the risk of spreading the flu to help keep hospital beds open for potential COVID patients.
The best way to prevent yourself from getting the flu is by receiving a flu shot. This will help keep you, your loved ones, and those at high risk around you safe from contracting the flu. Anyone who is over six months of age can receive a flu shot. Pregnant women, the elderly, and those who are at high risk should receive their flu shot by the end of October, so the antibodies have time to develop. These antibodies will help prevent you from getting the flu for all of the flu season. Those who have had allergic reactions to the flu shot in the past or those with egg allergies should talk with a healthcare provider before receiving a flu shot. The flu shot helps against the four strains of the flu virus. Washing your hands and avoiding others while sick are additional ways that can help decrease the spread.
Symptoms of the flu typically show up one to three days after initial exposure. A patient can be contagious one day before experiencing any symptoms and will remain contagious up to seven days after symptoms show. Signs of the flu include:
- Fever, with or without body aches
- Sore throat
A clear indication you have the flu is if symptoms show up all at once. The biggest difference between the flu from other illnesses is how quickly you get sick. Symptoms will show all at once and are at their worst initially instead of getting worse gradually. If you experience a loss of taste or smell, you should call AFC Urgent Care North Andover and get a rapid COVID test.
There is no specific cure for the flu. The flu shot will help make symptoms less severe if you do contract the virus. It can become extremely draining and make you feel exhausted, so it’s important to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Some OTC medications such as ibuprofen can help make body aches or a fever feel better. Be sure to monitor the severity of the symptoms to see how bad they get. If they get to the point of difficulty breathing, you should visit an ER.