Plan on Prevention: Get Your Flu Shot at MHM Today
Did you know it is an urban myth that the flu shot can give someone the flu? In anticipation of the upcoming flu season, MHM Urgent Care prescribes prevention as the best defense against the flu and encourages all Southeast Louisiana residents to get flu shots early this season.
“Although flu season begins in October and traditionally does not reach its apex until January, we believe it is of vital importance to take preventative measures early to ensure that you and your family are taking all the necessary precautions this flu season,” said Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich, Chief Medical Officer at MHM Urgent Care.
On average, more than 35,000 people die from contracting the flu each year. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), MHM Urgent Care recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as a vital first step towards prevention. Notably, groups at higher risk of contracting the flu include individuals 65 years of age or older, pregnant women and young children.
MHM Urgent Care recommends individuals get flu shots early in the flu season as there is up to a two-week waiting period between receiving a flu vaccination and when antibodies develop in the body to protect against the influenza virus infection. Early vaccination also provides an added defense during the flu season as individuals with the flu can spread it to others up to six feet away. Additionally, individuals carrying the virus may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick.
In addition to getting an annual flu shot, MHM Urgent Care advises taking the following preventative measures during flu season:
- Wash hands often to prevent the spread of germs.
- Cover nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing or coughing and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Practice healthy habits to keep the immune system strong. Be sure to drink plenty of water and get enough sleep and exercise.
- Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home if feeling unwell to reduce the risk of spreading germs to others.
Recognizing the early warning signs of the flu is key to shortening the lifespan on the virus. A nasal swab based flu test, which can be conducted in less than ten minutes by a medical professional, can also verify the virus’ presence. MHM Urgent Care recommends that individuals seek medical care if exhibiting the following symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea
Flu shots and flu tests are currently available seven days a week with no appointment necessary at all seven conveniently located MHM Urgent Care clinics in the Greater New Orleans Area.
For more information about MHM Urgent Care or to locate the nearest MHM Urgent Care location, please visit www.myhealthcarematters.com. Engage with MHM Urgent Care on Facebook or follow @mhmurgentcare on Twitter.