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Tackling the Flu Instead of Spreading It

For many people, getting an annual flu shot is practically a fall tradition. While flu shots are an effective protection against getting the flu, they’re not an iron-clad guarantee. You can still get the flu, even after you’ve gotten the shot, for several reasons.

For example, it takes your body about two weeks to develop immunity after receiving the flu vaccine. So if you are exposed to the virus shortly after getting the shot, you could come down with the flu anyway.

How do I know it’s the flu?

It’s important to recognize symptoms of the flu so you can be treated for it. To be effective, antiviral treatments must start within 48 hours of the first flu symptoms. Your primary care provider or CareSpot Urgent Care – Orlando Health centers may test you for the flu using a nasal swab and then prescribe the treatment.

Flu symptoms include:

  • Fever over 100˚ F (38˚ C)
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough or sore throat
  • Achy muscles
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

For people whose health and immune symptoms may already be compromised, it’s a good idea to see your doctor if you get the flu. That would include kids under five and seniors over 65, women who are pregnant or have given birth in the previous two weeks, and people who have a weakened immune system due to medications or HIV. Also, see your doctor if you have chronic conditions such as asthma, emphysema, heart disease or diabetes.

Be kind to yourself….and others.

If you do catch the flu, make sure to take care of yourself and minimize the risk of spreading the virus to others.

  1. Stay home. If you’re sniffling and sneezing, stay home and don’t spread your germs at work. You don’t want to be known as the person who unleashed the flu on your entire department.
  2. Drink up. Stay hydrated with lots of water and other non-alcoholic beverages. And take it easy on the caffeine, which can dehydrate you. When you’re dehydrated, it takes your body longer to eliminate toxic byproducts and waste.
  3. Keep it clean. Wash your hands with soap every time you pass a sink, or use hand sanitizer frequently. You don’t want to spread germs via doorknobs, countertops, TV remotes or cell phones.
  4. Get plenty of rest. Sleep is vital to rebuilding your immune system after a bout with the flu.
  5. Be patient. Recovering from the flu can take up to two weeks if you’re normally in good health.

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We believe that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the key to living a longer, healthier life. Orlando Health Physicians strive to build a relationship with each patient. Request an appointment with one of our primary care physicians with offices located throughout Central Florida.

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