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Flu, Cold & Sore Throat

Effective Flu Treatment So You Can Recover Quickly

Influenza, more commonly called “the flu,” is a contagious viral infection that travels through the air. The flu virus continually changes with new strains appearing regularly, and getting the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself against it. It’s important to know that the flu is not just a bad cold. It’s easy to confuse the two, but the common cold is milder and often comes on gradually, whereas the flu has a rapid onset. Even if you’ve had the flu previously and think you are immune, this is not the case: You will only be immune to that specific strain. Everyone should still get a flu shot during peak flu season, between October and March.

For young, healthy individuals, seasonal flu usually isn’t serious, even though you may feel miserable while you have it. Usually, the flu goes away on its own without medical intervention within a week or 2, and it has no lasting effects. However, children and adults at high risk may develop complications such as pneumonia, which can be deadly.

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degree Celsius)
  • Feeling hot, sweaty
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Nasal congestion
  • Muscle aches, especially in the back and legs

Should I Get the Flu Shot?

The flu shot is the best way anyone over 6 months of age can protect themselves from contracting this viral infection. Even pregnant women and the elderly should be vaccinated against seasonal flu. The reason why you should get the flu shot is that it protects more than just yourself. This is especially true if you are around others who are at high risk or have weakened immune systems.

Most people are eligible for the flu shot unless they have severe, life-threatening allergies. Most people with egg allergies, for example, are still eligible for the flu shot, although some are not. Those with an egg allergy can be vaccinated at our emergency room/urgent care clinic, so a physician can monitor the patient if they have a severe reaction. Learn more about who should get the flu shot on the CDC website.

Who Gets the Flu?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 8% of the U.S. population contracts the flu in any given season, although some years the rate has been as high as 11%. Anyone can get the flu, no matter how healthy they are. Certain individuals often have worse bouts of the flu, especially those with chronic illnesses. The flu is spread by infected people who spread germs by coughing, sneezing, or even talking. The infected droplets can land on the mouths, noses, or eyes or others, even before the infected person shows signs of having the flu.

Concerned about the flu? Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care offers 24/7 medical care at our emergency room/urgent care clinic. No appointments necessary.