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Each year the flu virus hits the air. Some years are worse than others and the flu season of 2009 was one of the worst on record. The Swine Flu or H1N1 virus hit the United States and took more lives than many previous years combined.

Consequently flu vaccines are highly encouraged for the very young and the elderly. Both of these populations are more susceptible to the virus than others. Flu vaccines are available from eMed beginning September 1, 2010 and will be available until the end of March 2011. All are encouraged to be vaccinated and the very young and very old must be vaccinated.

Having a cold or the flu is a familiar event but it is often difficult to tell them apart. Generally speaking, the ill effects of the flu are much worse than those experienced with other viral infections. Flu symptoms often come on more quickly leaving you feeling tired and fatigued. However, both the flu and cold viruses share common symptoms that may include:

  • Chest Discomfort
  • Cough
  • Chills (feeling feverish)
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme Exhaustion
  • Fatigue (up to two weeks)
  • Fever (100 degree F or higher)
  • General Aches and Pains
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore Throat
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

If you are at a higher risk of developing complications, you should see a doctor as soon as you notice flu-like symptoms. An urgent care provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have influenza. Although there is no cure for the flu, our physician can prescribe antiviral drugs that can lessen the severity and shorten the duration. When you feel less than your best, visit the ERgent Care Center. We can help.

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, everyone six months of age and older should get a shot. The vaccine is extremely important for people who are at a high risk of developing serious complications such as pneumonia. Pregnant women, caregivers, anyone 65 years and older as well as people with certain medical conditions (asthma, diabetes or chronic lung disease) should have seasonal flu shots. If you are sick or have recently experienced a respiratory illness, be sure and tell your healthcare provider when you go for a flu shot.