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Flu Season is Here!

Spring-like weather must mean flu season is over, right?

According to diagnoses in our urgent care practices, flu season is most definitely not over.  In fact, we are just starting to see many patients be diagnosed with the flu, specifically influenza A.

So, if you wake up in the morning feeling fine and feel like you’ve been run over by a cement truck by 3 pm, you may have the flu, complete with high fever, headache, dry cough, runny nose and sometimes even nausea and vomiting.  In fact, one of the tale-tell signs you are coming down with the flu and not just a cold is that symptoms do not come on gradually.  Instead, flu symptoms will hit all at once.

I Think It May Be the Flu

If you think you may have the flu, there is a lot of value to getting to the doctor quickly because we can prescribe an antiviral medication to lessen symptoms and shorten the duration of your illness.

It is especially important to visit the doctor if the person suffering from the flu is very young, elderly or has other health-compromising issues like asthma.  Also, if you are sick with the flu, you know how miserable it makes you feel. Please stay home from work or school until you have been fever free for 48 hours to prevent others from getting sick.

sick ill dog

I Don’t Want to Get the Flu

If you are not sick, take precautions to prevent yourself from getting sick.

#1 – Get Your Flu Shot.

It is not too late to get the flu shot and for it to take effect this flu season, which typically runs from October to as late as May.

#2 – Wash Your Hands.

The flu is a virus.  To get the flu, the virus must enter your body through your nose or mouth.  If you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your nose or mouth, you can introduce the virus into your body.  If you wash your hands with warm water and soap, then you can wash those germs away, preventing transmission of the virus.

#3 – Avoid People Who Are Sick.

The flu is an airborne virus, which mean when an infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus is can be spread up to 5 feet through the air.  Avoid contact with the virus and avoid getting sick.

We hope you stay well, but if you do feel sick, please visit us at WakeMed Urgent Care in Raleigh and Cary.  We are here to help you feel better faster.

**At this time, there are no system-wide visitor restrictions for the flu. While we understand your desire to visit loved ones who are in the hospital – we urge you to stay home if you are not feeling well to avoid putting both our staff and our patients at risk for infection.

About Tiffany Lowe-Payne, DO

Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne is a family medicine physician with WakeMed Urgent Care.