Flu Prevention Tips
February is a peak month for flu-like ailments to spread. When it comes to flu prevention, knowledge is power. Your caring team at Physicians Premier, your emergency room in Clear Lake, is committed to sharing education about the flu so that you can keep yourself and your family healthy.
What is the flu?
Influenza, or the flu, is a respiratory illness that is caused by a virus in the body. The flu is contagious, and the virus attacks the body by spreading throughout the respiratory tract. There are times when flu symptoms can be mistaken for the common cold. But the flu can bring along an array of other symptoms that includes sneezing, congestion, and a sore throat. A person with the flu can also have body aches, a fever that lasts for several days, as well as weakness and fatigue.
What causes it?
A cold can be caused by different types of viruses, however, only influenza viruses types A, B, and C can give you the flu. The flu can easily spread through contact. You can get it in your hands from common objects like doorknobs, or you can simply breathe it in. Also note that the flu virus can live longer indoors, which is why the virus spreads easily during the colder months.
What if I already have the flu?
If you catch the flu, it is important to limit your contact with others as much as possible. Avoid running errands, or going to school or at work as this will help prevent you from spreading the virus to others. Sanitize objects or surfaces that you use frequently to protect your loved ones. Remember that even if you are already feeling better, you can still spread the flu virus 7 days after your symptoms have started. Certain groups of people – which includes young children, those over 65 years of age, pregnant women, and those with medical issues – have a higher risk for flu complications.
How can I avoid it?
The single best way to avoid the flu is by getting a flu shot. Keeping your hands clean at all times will also get rid of the germs that might cause you to get sick. Also, avoid contact with people who are sick. The flu virus can spread through the air and can easily be inhaled by being in close proximity with a sick person.
If you do catch the flu, feel free to come to us at Physicians Premier, your emergency room in Clear Lake, for a thorough evaluation. Our on-site laboratory, state-of-the-art technology, and board-certified physicians make it easy for us to care for you and your family, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.