Texarkana, TX, November 27, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- It is estimated that between five and 20 percent of the local population will be burdened with congestion, coughing spells, body aches, fatigue, and fever all attributed to seasonal influenza, or the flu. Positive flu tests have been recorded this week at HealthCARE Express in the Arklatex, confirming the virus has arrived in our area. Peak flu season is expected to hit between late December and mid-February.
“The flu is highly contagious because it is so easily spread. If someone who is infected coughs or sneezes, the virus becomes airborne, spreading quickly to those in close proximity,” said Dr. Tim Reynolds, managing partner of HealthCARE Express urgent care and occupational medicine clinics. “You can get it by being in close contact with someone coughing or sneezing, or by contact with a telephone or door knob recently handled by an infected person. This is why we encourage people to cough or sneeze into their arm or into a tissue. It is also way we encourage people to not touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with their hands, to wash their hands regularly, and to use hand sanitizers.”
It is still not too late to receive a flu vaccine, but the longer one waits to get a vaccine, the longer it will take for the vaccine to begin preventing the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC), it takes two weeks for the body to build antibodies against the flu once an influenza vaccine has been received.
“Typical flu symptoms are high fever, chills, body aches and pains, headache, fatigue, dry cough, runny nose and sore throat. Most patients report a fairly sudden onset of symptoms,” Reynolds said. “In most cases of true flu, there is no nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, although those symptoms sometimes occur.”
If you should come down with fly symptoms, it is important to be tested to find out what type of flu is present. HealthCARE Express uses a nasal swab to test for both Type A and Type B Flu. The sooner you get tested, the better chance you have for antiviral medicines to help fight off the flu.
“The antiviral medicines must be started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms to be most effective,” said Reynolds.
The best ways to prevent spreading (or getting) the flu include:
Washing your hands frequently,
Never picking up used tissues,
Not sharing cups or eating utensils,
Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and
Staying at home when you’re sick.
At home treatments for the flu include:
Drinking plenty of fluids to stay well hydrated,
Getting plenty of rest, and
Taking Tylenol or ibuprofen for fever, aches and pains.
“Flu symptoms can last up to two weeks,” Reynolds said. “Many patients seem to get better, and within a few days develop chills and a cough productive of thick yellow mucous. If this occurs, you should see your doctor to assure you don’t have pneumonia.”
HealthCARE Express has locations in Texarkana, Longview, Shreveport, Marshall, Wake Village and Atlanta where flu shots are available. The medical staff at the walk-in urgent care clinics can manage flu and its complications, and are open 6 days a week. Learn more at www.HealthCAREExpress.us/locations