Has the Flu Season 2019 Hit Yet?

Has the Flu Hit Yet?

It’s that time of year again when the sniffling, coughing, and body aching of flu symptoms reappear.

While the common cold will make us miserable for a few days, the dangers associated with the influenza virus are a reason for concern to us all.  With flu season 2019 potentially right at our doorstep, here are tips that will come in handy to prevent the spread of influenza as well as knowing the warning signs of something more dangerous.

2018-2019 Flu Season by the Numbers

The CDC’s estimates for the last flu season, which span from October 1st, 2018 through May 4th, 2019, were more alarming than authorities initially estimated.

According to the CDC’s report:

  • Total flu cases ranged between 37.4 million to 42.9 million
  • There were 17.3 million to 20.1 million flu-related doctor visits
  • The flu resulted in 531,000 to 647,000 hospitalizations
  • Flu-related deaths were between 36,400 and 61,200

According to the latest report issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services, between September 30th, 2018, and September 26th, 2019, there were a total of 10,020 flu-related deaths in our state.

What Can We Expect For This Year’s Flu Season?

Every year medical researchers try to reduce the severity of the flu season in attempting to forecast and track the flu virus. Efforts are also made to predict which strands of the virus will be more frequent and develop vaccines to target those viruses.

However, despite everyone’s best intentions, the influenza virus is unpredictable, which means nobody knows for sure how severe this flu season will be.

Therefore, the best we can do is to protect ourselves as best we can.

Tips To Help You Protect Yourself From the Influenza Virus

Your best defense against the flu will always be to get your flu shot every year. Every year a new vaccine is released to help protect against the strains of flu experts feel will be most likely to be circulating that season.

In some cases, the vaccine may not prevent you from getting sick with the flu, but it will help to reduce the severity of the illness.

Additionally to getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself by:

  • Avoid being around people who are sick. If you are the person who is ill, do everyone a favor and stay home
  • Always cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces, especially those in high-traffic areas
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent germs from entering your system
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy meals, getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated and active

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Risk Factors and Complications from the Flu

Over-the-counter medicines just treat symptoms. Prescription medication like Tami flu or Xofluza is only helpful if taken within 48 hrs. of first symptoms.  They are a good aid in addition to rest and taking in fluids.  An influenza virus left untreated may escalate into complications from the flu which can be dangerous.

Some people have a higher risk of developing complications from the flu, including:

  • Infants and small children
  • Pregnant Women
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system

Complications from the flu range from mild to life-threatening and include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Sinus infections
  • Ear infections
  • Dehydration
  • Inflammation of the heart or brain
  • Inflammation of the muscles
  • Organ failure
  • Death

When to Go to the ER

Anyone who is a high-risk patient should contact their primary care doctor when they suspect they have the flu. Your doctor can monitor your symptoms and prescribe treatment to prevent complications.

Regardless of risk factor, anyone who develops the following symptoms should come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment:

  • Persistent fever of 103°F or higher
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Uncontrollable vomiting

Additionally, children should be brought to our pediatric emergency ward if they:

  • Are breathing fast or have trouble breathing without physical exertion
  • Have a fever with a rash
  • Their fingers, lips, or skin turns bluish
  • Are drinking minimal amount of liquid
  • Are unresponsive

Altus Emergency Centers are always ready to treat any medical emergency, including complications from the flu.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, don’t delay, seek immediate treatment at any of our facilities.

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is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies. We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times. After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process. We are here to help you get well and stay well!

How to Avoid the Flu

Bypass the Misery of Flu Season

How to Avoid the Flu

The dreaded flu season is fast approaching, and we know nobody wants to feel miserable for 2 whole weeks, and if you are a parent then you know it is going to be a domino effect, one by one everyone in the household will fall ill.

The flu isn’t a simple cold, the symptoms are much more severe and for those individuals who are high-risk: adults over the age of 65, children under the age of 6, women who are pregnant or anyone with a chronic disease like diabetes, asthma, or cardiovascular disease, complications from the flu can prove deadly.

As part of our ongoing commitment to help the members of our community stay healthy and avoid the flu (influenza) and other viral infections, the medical staff at Altus Emergency Centers would like to share some important facts and safety tips to avoid getting bedridden this season.

Not so Fun Facts About the Influenza Virus

Flu-Virus

Know the Flu Facts

  • The flu is caused by various strains of the virus that mutates constantly, this is the reason why a new flu vaccine is released every year.
  • It is estimated that anywhere between 140,000 to 710,000 people are year are hospitalized due to the flu.
  • The CDC estimated that the number of deaths associated with the 2017 – 2018 flu season at 80,000 which was a significant increase in relation to the previous years 2015-2016 which was between 12,000 and 56,000.
  • As of October 27th, 2018, the CDC has reported a total of 185 pediatric deaths for the 2017-2018 season.
  • The flu virus can travel up to 6 feet with every time someone infected coughs or sneezes.
  • An individual can be contagious 1-4 days before symptoms manifest and can remain contagious for another 5-7 days after symptoms begin.

How to Avoid the Flu Season Blues

The flu is a viral respiratory illness.  This means that anyone can easily become ill by coming into contact with airborne droplets from an infected individual.  Due to the fact that contaminated droplets can travel up to 6 feet when someone coughs or sneezes, it is very difficult to avoid contact altogether, but there are ways to safeguard yourself and your loved ones to avoid the flu.

Get Vaccinated as Early in the Season as Possible

You can still contract the virus from someone else up to 2-weeks after getting vaccinated, so early vaccination is important.

The yearly flu shot will protect you from 3-4 flu strains that are predicted to cause the most damage that year. Also, it can help you recover from the illness faster, often avoiding 2-4 days in bed.  Most importantly, it helps prevent serious complications from the flu such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear or sinus infections.  The small prick of a needle is better than days or weeks of agony.  Avoid the flu by getting vaccinated early on each year.

Become Obsessed with Good Hygiene

Avoid the flu and other viruses by washing your heads with soap and water frequently.  This is especially important when you are at work, or after riding public transportation, as you could come in contact with the virus and not know it.

Teach your children to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, and not to share food and drinks with their friends.

If you don’t have access to soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good substitute, also keep antibacterial cleaning towels handy, so you can clean your desk and other surfaces with regularity.

Take Good Care of Yourself

A healthy immune system will be instrumental in helping your body avoid and fight the flu virus. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, a recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University concluded that getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night decreases the chances of getting a cold or flu by 30%.

How do I avoid the flu by being healthy? We recommend that you maintain a well-balanced diet, avoid fatty foods, and too many sweets that are plentiful this time of year, make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Also, make sure to stay away from other bad habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol in excess.

When Should You Visit the ER?

Altus Emergency Doctors ER

Regardless of how careful you are, sometimes getting sick with the flu is unavoidable, and unfortunately, the symptoms will make you feel miserable for a few days, but, there are some warning signs that could signal flu complications that will require medical attention:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, these are not normal symptoms of the flu, if you experience them it could be something more serious such as an asthma attack, or pneumonia.
  • Chest Pain, this could be a signal heart disease, and you should get immediate medical care.
  • A persistent cough especially one accompanied by phlegm, if you notice blood in your phlegm, go to the nearest Altus ER Center immediately.
  • If you are suffering from confusion or sudden dizziness, there are several reasons why you could be feeling this way, so, it is best to get a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional.
  • Severe and persistent vomiting, this could lead to dehydration, and you may require intravenous fluids.
  • Pain or trouble swallowing, although a sore throat can be a symptom of the flu if you experience severe pain or have trouble while swallowing, it could be you have strep throat.
  • Persistent fever, a fever lasting more than 3 days could mean you have a bacterial infection and require antibiotics.
  • If your cough, fever, or other symptoms return in the second week after the onset of the flu or if your symptoms never get better and instead become worse, you may be developing pneumonia.

Altus Emergency Centers is here for you during the worst of the flu season and the rest of year 24/7.  We hope you don’t fall victim to the flu virus this year, but if you do, and you show any of the above signs, visit your nearest Altus ER.  We will be here to nurse you and your loved ones back to health and enjoying the upcoming holidays.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies. We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to get you well fast in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

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