We’re in the heart of flu season and unfortunately for many people each year, that means a harsh illness that can even lead to hospitalization. The CDC focuses primarily on preventing the spread of the flu, although knowing how to treat it if you develop it is important too.
When is Flu Season?
Flu season varies in length each year. Most people believe it begins in the fall and goes until the end of winter, into the early months of spring. Peak flu season is traditionally from December until February, but the viral condition can peak again at any point.
Preventing the Flu
The best way to prevent the flu is to get your flu shot. The flu shot reduces your risk of developing the flu by up to 80% and has little to no side effects. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, it isn’t too late! The flu shot is effective even if you get it after peak flu season has already begun. It’s important to encourage your friends, family members, and coworkers to get their flu shot too. You can also prevent the flu by washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face or mouth with your hands. If you’re sick, stay home from school or work to avoid getting other people sick. If and when you do have to go out, make sure you’re coughing and sneezing into your elbow, not into your palm.
Sometimes prevention isn’t enough and the flu still affects even the safest people. If you’re in need of your flu shot or if you think you may have the flu, visit your local urgent care center today. Treating your flu at home is fine until you start to have a fever that won’t go away or you become dehydrated. If you start to feel like you’re getting worse or you can’t keep fluids down, go to urgent care right away. The flu can also lead to sinus infections, ear infections, and more if your sinuses don’t drain properly. These conditions will require prescription antibiotics before they can improve.
Find more public health tips from the CDC here. Preventing the spread of the flu is a community effort, not just a single person doing it all. Encourage your friends and family to practice these prevention tips and to get their flu shot if they haven’t already!