Every year, between 5-20% of the American population comes down with the flu. Though common, the flu is especially dangerous for infants, seniors, and people with compromised immune systems. Family Medical Center in Orlando, Florida, regularly diagnoses and treats the flu. The health care providers also offer annual flu shots to lower your risk of getting sick. If you suspect you have the flu, or you want to get your flu shot, make an appointment at Family Medical Center today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.
Influenza, or the flu, is a common viral infection that attacks your upper respiratory system. It’s highly contagious and presents symptoms that range from mild to severe.
Although the flu and common cold exhibit similar symptoms, the flu usually lasts longer and makes you feel worse. Anyone can catch the flu, but it’s especially common in young children under the age of five and seniors. You’re also more likely to catch the flu if you have a chronic condition like heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease.
The symptoms of the flu vary from person to person. Common telltale signs include:
As the flu progresses, you might also experience weakness and general fatigue. It can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.
To diagnose the flu, your Family Medical Center provider conducts a physical exam and looks for signs of influenza. Usually, these steps are enough to make a full diagnosis. However, if your symptoms occur outside of the flu season, your doctor might order a special test designed to detect influenza viruses.
Treatment for the flu usually involves rest and drinking plenty of fluids. If you have a severe infection, or you’re at a high risk of complications, your provider might also prescribe an antiviral medication like oseltamivir.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent the flu entirely. However, you can significantly lower your risk by getting an annual flu shot. A flu shot stimulates your immune system to create antibodies that fight infection.
You can also lower your risk of catching the flu by washing your hands with soap and water, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and using disinfectant sprays on high-traffic surfaces like bathroom or kitchen counters.
Flu shots are safe and well-tolerated, and they won’t make you sick. Though they can’t prevent the flu 100%, getting a flu shot is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself, your family members, and the community around you.
If you’re feeling under the weather and suspect you have the flu, make an appointment at Family Medical Center today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.