Flu activity has been low across the United States, but just wait. That’s what health experts are saying. They are warning that this could be a rough flu season.
In preparation for a tougher than normal flu season, Dr. Charles Patrick Isbell with Promptu Immediate Care in New Braunfels, Tx helped answer some of the more commonly asked questions about the flu and treatment.
What is the difference between a cold and the flu?
Both are respiratory viral infections but flu is a much more severe infection. Flu can cause severe respiratory infection and in some cases lead to pneumonia or death. Colds are self limited upper respiratory infections of short duration.
When is a person contagious?
Starting 12 hours prior to the onset of symptoms and for the first 5 days.
Why is a flu shot key for people with chronic illnesses like diabetes?
The best way to prevent the flu is with the flu shot and all patients with chronic illnesses should be immunized to prevent further complications.
Do you see a reason for this year to be a nasty flu shot season?
Currently, flu activity is low across the US but will increase over the next 4-6 months. Our peak season is usually January through early March.
Why do you recommend a flu shot? Does it really help?
Flu shots are recommended in everyone 6 months and older. This decreases the risk of getting the flu and prevents spread throughout the community.
How do prescription flu medicines work?
Antivirals if started in the first 24 hours can lesson the symptoms and significantly reduce duration by 1-2 days.
What’s the difference between prescription flu medicine and something you can pick up on the shelf at a drug store?
Flu medicine helps to stop the flu virus from replicating. Over the counter meds only help to minimize symptoms.
In an effort to help protect patients against the flu virus, Promptu is pushing out a major health campaign called Boo to the Flu! Making this a Texas-sized effort, health experts will be on hand at their Promptu locations in Corpus Christi, Beaumont and surrounding communities in San Antonio to help families scare away the flu.
Whether in costume, or not, kids and adults can receive their flu shot for as little as $10 when they visit Promptu Immediate Care. In its second year, the seasonal flu vaccination clinics began on Thursday, October 26 and runs until Sunday, October 29. The first 25 patients can receive their flu shot free of charge.