If you’ve ever had the flu — and odds are you have — you know it’s a miserable experience that can put you behind at work, ruin your holidays, or worse. More than 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized each year with the flu or its complications, and over 36,000 people die from this preventable disease. That’s why National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 2-8) is the perfect time to learn what you’re up against and take the one simple step to defend yourself.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether you’re coming down with the flu or just the common cold. Both often begin with a runny nose and sneezing, but these symptoms tend to hit a lot harder and faster with the flu, along with other symptoms including:
Treating the flu
Fortunately, most people who get the flu can treat themselves at home and let the virus run its miserable course. A few common-sense measures can help to ease your symptoms:
Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications such as Tamiflu® or Relenza® if you’re at higher risk of complications. Those at higher risk include:
Up to 20% of Americans get the flu every year. You can greatly improve your odds of avoiding it with a couple of simple steps:
If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, now’s the time. Getting your shot during National Influenza Vaccination Week (December 2-8) can help ensure that you’re prepared for peak flu season.
To schedule your vaccination, call your doctor today, or get in line online at stclair.org/services/urgent-care to receive your flu shot at St. Clair Urgent Care on the First Floor of St. Clair Hospital Outpatient Center–Village Square in Bethel Park.