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1/18/18

flu sick manAs doctor’s offices, urgent care centers and hospitals are seeing, flu season is active. Influenza, also known as the flu, is one of the nation’s leading causes of death with roughly 24,000 people a year dying from flu and its complications.

­­­Siloam Springs Regional Hospital and Northwest Health Urgent Care have seen a growing number of flu-symptomatic patients. While health officials fear this will be an unusually bad year for flu, the timing is unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February, but can continue as late as May.

The good news: It’s not too late to get the flu shot. Even if the flu season peaks soon, it will still be around for months. Vaccination is the simplest step you can take to protect yourself.

There are three main things you can do to be safe this flu season:

  • Vaccinate – Get the flu shot for yourself and everyone in your family. It’s available at your doctor’s office and many urgent care centers in the area. The CDC recommends everyone older than 6 months, except people with severe egg allergies, get immunized.
  • Get Treatment – If you do get the flu, your provider or an urgent care center can prescribe antiviral medication to treat flu illness and prevent serious flu complications. Children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses are particularly vulnerable to catching the flu and experiencing complications. It’s important to treat high-risk individuals promptly to avoid hospitalization. Treatment with antiviral medication works best when begun within 48 hours of getting sick, but can still be beneficial when given later in the course of illness. These drugs also can lessen serious flu complications.
  • Prevention – Stay away from sick people and wash your hands frequently to reduce the spread of germs. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and resist touching your eyes, mouth and nose. Avoid close contact with people who have the flu or symptoms and if you’re sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others.

Though this year’s flu vaccination is not a perfect tool, it’s the best way to protect against flu infection. Caregivers at our clinics and Siloam Springs Regional Hospital take the safety of our patients seriously, and we’ve had a high participation rate with voluntary vaccination efforts among our staff, clinicians and physicians.

Does your family need care that is quick and convenient? Northwest Health Urgent Care in Siloam Springs is close by to help treat everything from the flu to broken bones. No appointment needed. Visit MyNorthwestAnycare.com or call (479) 215-3080 for more information.

 

 

 

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