It’s time to scare away the flu virus! Bring the whole family in for their annual flu shot at Triangle Family Care and keep reading to learn about other ways to protect your family from viruses this fall and winter.
Who Should Get the Flu Shot?
Everyone who is six months or older should get the flu vaccine every year. Flu shots are approved for women who are pregnant and individuals with chronic illnesses.
Getting the flu shot is not just about protecting yourself, it also helps the community. When you get the flu shot, you are helping to keep higher-risk seniors and young children, who may not be able to get the vaccine, safe.
Signs and Symptoms of the Flu
Influenza is a respiratory illness that is caused by the flu virus. It is highly contagious and can even lead to hospitalization or death. Every flu season is unique and the flu affects everyone differently. Even a person who is very healthy can get sick from the flu or a flu-related illness and spread it to others.
Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly and include:
- A cough
- A sore throat
- A runny nose
- Body aches
- Vomiting (more common in children)
- Diarrhea (more common in children)
Flu or the Common Cold?
Symptoms of a cold and the flu generally overlap. It can be hard to distinguish between the two without getting a rapid flu test. However, there are some basic guidelines you can use to help tell the difference.
The main difference between a cold and the flu is that they are caused by different virus types. As we mentioned earlier, flu symptoms tend to come on suddenly. In comparison, cold symptoms tend to arrive gradually. Cold symptoms are less severe than flu symptoms and most of the time, last seven to ten days. Flu symptoms are much more severe right away and can last one to two weeks.
Keep Those Hands Clean
Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses from the common cold to the flu and beyond. You should wash your hands with soap and clean, running water whenever possible to help prevent the spread of germs. It is especially important to wash your hands:
- Before eating
- Before and after interacting with someone who is sick
- After using the bathroom
- After changing a diaper
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, pet food, pet treats, or animal waste
- After being at a doctor’s office or hospital
Soap vs. Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer
You should use soap and water whenever possible but if they are not available, always opt for an alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead of a soap-based hand sanitizer. When purchasing hand sanitizer, make sure that it contains at least 60% alcohol. After applying the sanitizer, make sure you rub your hands together until they are completely dry.
Schedule Your Flu Shot
Call us at 919-319-6363 to schedule your appointment today and keep the flu away this season.