Categorized | Health

Protect Yourself During Flu Season

Flu season brings illness and health complications every year to those unfortunate enough to contract it. Approximately 5 to 20 percent of the US population comes down with the flu every year. With an estimated 200,000 hospitalizations annually for the illness, the flu represents a major public health hazard. The peak of the season usually occurs in the winter between January and February, but individuals can contract the flu in the fall and early spring as well.

Despite the dangers posed by this illness, there is much you can do to protect yourself. La Costa Urgent Care and Family Practice offers flu vaccines and comprehensive medical care for flu prevention and treatment. The flu vaccine is the most effective protection against the virus. For those with compromised immune system, such as the elderly or young children, it is especially important to receive a flu vaccine. Those suffering from diabetes, cancer, asthma or HIV should also receive a vaccine, as the flu can cause dire complications for individuals suffering from these ailments. 

You should get vaccinated as early as October, but getting a flu shot later in the season also provides protection. For those who live in large households or spend significant time around many people at their workplace, they should also consider the flu vaccine as a method to prevent their community and families from coming down with the virus. Maintaining a healthy diet full of plenty of fruits and vegetables can also provide a boost to your immune system and help provide another layer of protection.

The flu is most commonly spread through sneezing, coughing, and touch. People who have the flu can also spread the virus by talking to others in close proximity. Touching surfaces or objects that have the virus and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth, is another method of transmission. If you have the virus, be sure to wash your hand and keep your distance from others to prevent the flu from spreading. 

The flu can lead to more serious complications, such as pneumonia and in some cases, the flu can even lead to death, underlining the threat posed by this illness. The flu kills an estimated 10,000 to 49,000 people a year and leads millions of hours of lost working time. You can expect flu to last one to two weeks in most cases, but in rare circumstances complications can arise that lead to a more protracted illness. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, dehydration, ear and sinus infections, fatigue and bacterial pneumonia. 

Each year the flu can threaten your health and the health of your loved ones. La Costa Urgent Care and Family Practice will continue to be there to protect you and our community from this public health hazard.

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