It’s that time of year again when coughs, sneezes and runny noses can send you running for cover from potential flu virus contamination. As the flu season ramps up, the board-certified physicians at Medco ER in Plano, TX, are prepared to offer flu vaccinations, antiviral medications, antibiotics, rapid results labs, and advice to patients who encounter influenza.
Current Flu Predictions
Since this is the onset of flu season, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that influenza is not currently a pandemic. They continue to monitor the potential threat of widespread flu in the United States. For now, the flu vaccine combats the four most common viruses predicted to be dominant this year.
Asian lineage avian influenza A consisting of H5N1 and H7N9 viruses is considered one of the risks this season.1 This and other strains of viruses are being tracked by the CDC.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, come to Medco ER immediately for evaluation for the flu:4
- Chills, fever
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches
- Fatigue, lethargy
The first line of defense against the flu is to get the vaccine every season. Patients with chronic conditions or at higher risk for complications should get the vaccination every year.2 Vaccinations help prevent the most common viruses, but not all of them.3
“If we experience a pandemic flu this year, it is likely going to happen in spite of the vaccine,” said Medco ER’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “Widespread viruses that cause influenza are not protected against with annual vaccinations. However, flu vaccinations are very important for the most virulent strains. It is also important to follow good practices to prevent getting the flu.”
One of the best things that you can do to prevent the flu is to frequently and carefully wash your hands with hot water and soap. If you are on the go, take hand sanitizer with you to use after each stop.
Avoid crowded places and close contact with people who are sick. Similarly, if you are sick, stay home so you don’t spread the germs. Stay home 24 hours after your fever is gone. Don’t forget that your fever-reducing medications may confuse this timeframe.
Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth to prevent introducing germs into your system. Use a tissue or your elbow to cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away afterwards.2
Clean frequently touched surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, countertops, and bathrooms to keep germs at bay. Consider spraying rooms with natural antibacterial mixtures such as tea tree oil and distilled water.
One of the only treatments for early onset influenza is antiviral drugs. These prescribed antiviral drugs need to be administered rapidly to be effective. They should be started within 1-2 days of the first symptom.
Prescription antibiotics may be needed for secondary infections that could arise from flu symptoms, such as bronchitis. Your physician at Medco ER may prescribe something to keep your symptoms from getting worse.
At home treatment ideas include:5
- Bed rest
- Stay home
- Fever reducing over-the-counter medication
- Drink clear liquids
Influenza could become an emergency and require immediate medical care. If you or someone in your house is experiencing any of these warning signs, come to Medco ER right away for a complete examination.5
- Breathing difficulty
- Chest pain or pressure
- Fever or cough that improves, then gets worse
- Lack of urine output
- Confusion, not alert
- Dry mouth, no tears when crying
- Severe body aches or muscle pain
- Fever that doesn’t respond to fever-reducing medications
- Extreme weakness
Get Flu Help Fast at Medco ER
If you are just experiencing flu symptoms, go immediately to Medco ER. You may be a good candidate for antiviral prescription medication that could shorten the life of your flu symptoms. We are open 24/7, so you can get easy access to rapid results flu tests and prescriptions.
Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-747-0370