Did you know that flu season can last for nearly six months depending on how viral the disease becomes
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), influenza begins to spread rapidly from the start of October and can last throughout the spring into May. February tends to be the month when influenza tends to peak in a given year as more cases of infected patients continue to grow. Influenza infections tend to fluctuate, but mostly follow the patterns identified by past CDC monitoring.
In a previous blog, we discussed some of the key ways to prevent the flu and provide some insights on how people can generally stay healthy during flu season. But if cases of the flu spike in your local community during peak months it can help to understand the best methods for long term prevention.
Thankfully, long-term flu prevention is fairly straightforward even when cases of the flu grow exponentially in nearby towns or cities. Patients should follow some of the tips and preventive care activities below to stave off flu infections and influenza during peak flu season:
Take notes about yearly influenza updates:
Each year, the latest influenza strain changes and adapts in order to infect patients that have built immunity to the disease in previous years. Most medical facilities including local clinics and urgent care centers provide an updated vaccine because of the virus’s change.
The updated flu vaccines are the best way to prevent infection, but it also helps to know the latest facts and updates about flu season in general.
The CDC provides extensive updates on all vaccination updates and preventive tips based on the upcoming/current flu season. For example, patients that may need or qualify for a nasal vaccination can understand what changes are being made clinically to this specific method of vaccination.
In addition, patients can also inform themselves of critical information about flu season and what to expect in terms of healthcare risks. The CDC says the flu becomes a national epidemic each year and hospitalizes between 140,000 and 960,000 hospitalizations each year.
Stay head of long flu epidemics by fully understanding the risks and preventive measures one can take to avoid getting the illness.
Check about recent influenza outbreaks from local news sources and expert organizations
The best way to find out if the flu season is going to impact your community drastically is to take a few minutes out of each day to survey news reports and local updates.
A quick Google search about flu cases in your local community usually brings up recent updates from a wide variety of news organizations. Recently, a Denver-area child died from the flu in January of 2019 and hospitalizations around Denver rose to over 1,000, according to local news reports.
In addition, the Denver Department of Public Health provides updates so that families and individuals can track any emerging statistics about local flu outbreaks. Taking the time to search about emerging flu patterns may let you know about any parts of your community that may increase your risk of contracting the latest flu virus.
Influenza patterns can change rapidly in a given year. Sometimes, the virus can remain dormant for several months until an eventual spike in just a few days.
Get your flu shot and keep up with those key prevention tips!
If flu season extends in your local community, the best way to remain flu-free is to get your updated flu vaccination!
The flu shot helps your immune system create antibodies that fight off the most recent strain of influenza. All patients over the age of six months are advised to get an updated flu shot as soon as possible.
A flu shot is just one way for a patient to get vaccinated. Most urgent care centers and walk-in clinics offer a variety of flu vaccinations depending upon the appropriateness for a patient. In some instances, a patient may need to use a nasal vaccination or an alternative method for vaccination.
Getting a flu shot takes only a few minutes and is offered at an affordable rate for most patients. Once you get a flu vaccination, it also helps to practice the CDC’s “Take 3” prevention guide to stay healthy during peak flu season.
The Take 3 guide is based around getting an updated flu vaccination, limiting contact with infected individuals, and taking antiviral flu medications when prescribed by a doctor. Additionally, the Take 3 process includes regularly washing your hands, disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining good overall hygiene at home, work, or school.
However, a patient needs to keep up with flu prevention techniques consistently during the peak of flu season to avoid the illness.
Many patients may get just the flu shot, or simply try hygiene steps alone, and assume they are adequately protected. Most individuals need to constantly work these steps in tandem for the lowest possible chance of getting the flu.
The flu may soon become widespread in your local community before you know it, so make sure you come into one of our AFC Urgent Care Denver locations to get a flu vaccine or symptom treatment!