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Flu Season Is Here, Let’s Prepare!

Flu Season Is Here, Let’s Prepare!

The turn of the season signals the start of the flu season, an illness we should we never take lightly. However, this year we need to prepare even better as we are still battling a pandemic.

Because COVID-19 is still spreading in our communities, we need to do our best to reduce the spread of other respiratory illnesses like the flu.

The Impact of Flu Season in America

Per CDC estimates, last year’s flu season resulted in:

  • 38 million illnesses
  • 18 million doctor visits
  • 405,000 hospitalizations
  • 22,000 flu-related deaths

Although some groups are more vulnerable than others, the truth is that the influenza virus affects all age groups. For example, last season, the most affected age groups were young children (0-4 years) and adults ranging from 18 to 49.

The Flu, A Cold, Or COVID-19, How to Tell the Difference

Different respiratory viruses cause the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19, but they share some symptoms.

The following chart can help you differentiate the symptoms. However, it’s important to always speak to your doctor if you have severe respiratory symptoms or if you think you may have COVID-19.

Symptoms

Covid-19

Symptoms Can Range from Mild to Severe

Common Cold

Gradual Onset of Symptoms

The Flu

Abrupt Onset of Symptoms

Fever

Common

Rare

Common

Cough

Common

Common

Common

Sore Throat

Sometimes

Common

Common

Shortness of Breath

Sometimes (with mild/moderate infection)

No

No

Fatigue

Sometimes

Sometimes

Sometimes

New Loss of Smell or Taste

Common

Common

Common

Aches and Pains

Sometimes

Sometimes

Common

Headaches

Sometimes

Common

Sometimes

Diarrhea

Rare

No

Sometimes (especially in children)

Sneezing

No

Common

Sometimes

COVID-19 Common Cold or The Flu

You Can Help Prevent the Flu

This year, Altus Emergency Centers is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention #FightFlu campaign to help stop the influenza virus spread.

Preventing the flu starts with each of us, so here is how we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe:

 

Get Vaccinated!

Getting a yearly flu vaccine is the first line of defense. This year more than ever, it would be best if you got yourself and your family vaccinated.

The CDC recommends everyone 6-months or older get an annual flu vaccine. Together we can protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors.

 

Wash Your Hands

By now, we’ve all gotten into the excellent habit of washing our hands frequently. Harmful bacteria and viruses thrive on surfaces and objects that our hands come in contact with. If we touch our eyes, nose, or mouth with dirty hands, these germs can enter our bodies and make us sick.

The more often we wash our hands, the less risk we have of getting sick.

 

Keep Your Distance

Like the novel coronavirus, the influenza virus spreads through tiny droplets expelled when an infected person speaks, coughs, or sneezes.

Keeping a physical distance of at least 6-feet between you and others will help reduce the risk of getting the virus.

 

Continue to Wear a Mask in Public

Using a mask in public helps reduce the number of droplets we expel. The more people wear them, the less risk we all have of getting infected.

 

If You Get Sick, Speak to Your Doctor About Antivirals

If you get the flu, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications. Although they won’t cure, these medicines can reduce symptoms, make illness milder, and shorten the time you are sick.

When to Visit Altus Emergency Center

If you happen to get sick with the flu, you should monitor your symptoms. If they are mild to moderate, you won’t need to visit the ER. However, should you develop any of the following signs, you should immediately come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.

Influenza is a serious viral respiratory illness that should never be left untreated, as it can quickly develop into other more severe conditions.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or severe abdominal pain
  • Confusion
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Vomiting that won’t stop

 

Altus Emergency Centers is committed to helping our communities stay healthy. We are open 24 hours every day of the year. Rest assured, our facilities follow strict sanitazing protocols to ensure all our patients’ safety.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

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!

Stay in Shape Safely During the Pandemic

Stay in Shape Safely During the Pandemic

These past few months have been a roller coaster of emotions brought on by the public health crisis our nation is facing.

Most of us have gone through initial feelings of concern to now feeling anxious, frustrated, sad, and even angry with the situation. And these feelings are not only affecting adults; they are impacting our children as well.

While the extensive physical distancing policies put in place to the slow the spread of COVID-19 are necessary, our bodies and minds still need exercise to stay healthy.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

The Benefits of Exercise

There is a direct relationship between health, diet, and exercise. Maintaining a healthy diet is essential when it comes to our physical, mental, and even social well-being. Yet regular physical activity is equally important.

Having a sedentary lifestyle can increase our risk of developing chronic diseases and permanent loss of movement. Additionally, a lack of physical activity can also harm our immune health and lead to weight gain.

On the other hand, regular aerobic exercise helps improve our mood, boost our confidence and self-image, improve our sleep quality, and relieve stress.

For these reasons, keeping active during the coronavirus pandemic is essential.

Tips for The Whole Family to Exercise at Home

When you think of starting a workout routine at home, you should also consider including your children. Physical activity has proven to improve a child’s physical health, as well as provide cognitive and emotional benefits, including enhancing their attention span and mental and emotional well-being.

Set Realistic Goals

 

Sure, most of us wish we could compete in a triathlon or become a high performing athlete. But one of the top reasons starting a workout routine fails is because we set unrealistic goals.

Setting unattainable short-term goals can crush your family’s motivation. So, start by setting small, easily attainable goals. Make sure to include your kids in the conversation to learn what they wish to attain.

 

Here are some examples of easy goals to set when you first begin:

  • Go for a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood as a family at least five days a week. You can increase the length of your outings progressively.
  • Do three sets of 15 jumping jacks or squats every day. Increase the number the sets as your physical condition improves
  • Hold a plank position for 30 seconds, increase this progressively and make it a competition to see who can hold it the longest

 

If your primary purpose is to lose weight, don’t make the mistake of saying I want to lose 50, 60, or 100 pounds. Slow, steady weight loss provides the most benefits, and it can help you keep the weight off longer.

A good starting point is to set a monthly weight loss goal of 5-10 pounds. Meaning you will lose 1-2 pounds per week, which is very achievable.

The practice of setting small achievable goals can help motivate you and your family and start you on the path of creating long-term healthy habits.

Stay in Shape Safely During the Pandemic

Make it Fun

 

Most of us think of exercise as a necessary evil. We’ve programmed ourselves to think of it as an unpleasant chore on our to-do lists.

But physical activity should and can be fun and enjoyable for everyone in the family. The first thing you should do is add variety to your workouts. If you always do the same exercises, then you will get bored, so include both outdoor and indoor activities. From riding a bike, walking, or swimming if you have a pool, to joining an online workout program you can do from home.

Make sure to include activities that promote flexibility and stretching, as this can help increase your balance and prevent injuries.

 

Here Are Some Ideas for At Home Physical Activities for You and Your Kids

  • Exercises that use your body weight, such as push-ups, pull-ups, planks, and mountain climbers
  • Yoga
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Dancing – Put on your favorite songs and do a dance-off
  • Balancing on one foot – Helps improve balance and muscle strength
  • Hopscotch -You can either use tape or chalk on your floor, driveway, or patio
  • Fill up a balloon or beach ball and don’t let it touch the ground
  • Crab walk or bear crawl races
  • Jump rope
  • Do a Hula Hoop contest

 

Pace Yourself

 

To help prevent injuries, we recommend you start slow and increase both the length and intensity of your workouts progressively.

Trying to do too much at once not only increases your risk of getting injured it can also frustrate your efforts.

Stay in Shape Safely During the Pandemic

Common Exercise Injuries and What to Do About Them

It’s worth mentioning that a workout injury can happen to anyone. Regardless if you are starting or if you are avid gym-goer injuries are part of life so don’t get discouraged if you suffer one.

 

Common workout injuries include:

  • Muscle pull and strain
  • Sprained ankle
  • Wrist sprain or dislocation
  • Shin splint
  • Shoulder injury
  • Knee injuries
  • Tendinitis

If you or your kids get injured while exercising and you experience severe pain, difficulty moving the joint, or have acute inflammation, don’t wait. Visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center to be evaluated by a physician.

 

All our centers are open, and we follow strict safety protocols. When you visit us, you are in the best hands.

Stay in Shape Safely During the Pandemic

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

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!

COVID-19, Common Cold or The Flu? How to Tell the Difference

COVID-19, Common Cold or The Flu? How to Tell the Difference

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our lives, many of us are feeling on edge, and the slightest symptom makes us wonder if we’ve contracted COVID-19.

The common cold, the flu, and COVID-19 are all respiratory illnesses caused by viruses, and some of the symptoms can be very similar. So how do you know which one you have?

Here, we will show the differences so you can know when you need to seek medical help.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

What Causes the Common Cold, The Flu, And COVID-19

The first similarity between all these illnesses is that they are all caused by viruses.

 

Common Cold: The reason we call colds the common cold is that numerous viruses can cause it making it an easy illness to get.

Some of the viruses responsible for the common cold include:

  • The rhinovirus
  • Human parainfluenza
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Various coronaviruses – But not the one that causes COVID-19 

Viruses, including the coronaviruses responsible for the common cold, produce mild symptoms that include a stuffy nose, sore throat, and headaches.

 

The Flu: The influenza virus is what causes the flu. There are many variations of the influenza virus, all of which can cause seasonal viral respiratory infections in your nose, throat, and lungs.

For most, the flu causes mild to moderate symptoms that resolve themselves in two weeks or less. However, some patients can develop serious complications that result in pneumonia and possibly death.

 

COVID-19: The strain of coronavirus responsible for the illness, now known as COVID-19, is new. Scientists have named this new strain as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2  or SARS-CoV-2.

The symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are much more severe, resulting in high persistent fevers, cough, trouble breathing, pneumonia, kidney failure, and even death.

Comparing the Symptoms of the Common Cold, The Flu, and COVID-19

The following symptom chart can help you decide if you have a common cold, the flu, or COVID-19. This list of symptoms, however, is not definitive and should only be used as a guide. If you suspect you have COVID-19, please call your doctor or visit one of our centers as soon as possible.

Symptoms

Covid-19

Symptoms Can Range from Mild to Severe

Common Cold

Gradual Onset of Symptoms

The Flu

Abrupt Onset of Symptoms

Fever

Common

Rare

Common

Cough

Common

Common

Common

Sore Throat

Sometimes

Common

Common

Shortness of Breath

Sometimes (with mild/moderate infection)

No

No

Fatigue

Sometimes

Sometimes

Sometimes

New Loss of Smell or Taste

Common

Common

Common

Aches and Pains

Sometimes

Sometimes

Common

Headaches

Sometimes

Common

Sometimes

Diarrhea

Rare

No

Sometimes (especially in children)

Sneezing

No

Common

Sometimes

COVID-19 Common Cold or The Flu

How Can You Be Sure if Your Symptoms Are Those of COVID-19?

Because symptoms of the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19 can overlap, it can be challenging to know when you should worry, and when you shouldn’t.

If you do have COVID-19, prompt diagnosis and treatment can help lower your risk of developing complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a COVID-19 self-checker to help you know when to seek medical attention.

If your self-assessment indicates, a doctor should examine you, call the nearest Altus Emergency Center or use our online check-in form. You will receive a free medical evaluation, and you decide when and where to get tested should you need to.

There’s No Time to Wait in an Emergency!

WHEN THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, TRY OUR ONLINE CHECK-IN

Check-In Online

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

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!

CDC Warns the Flu Season Is Far from Over

Is the Flu Season Going to Get Better or Worse?

The CDC numbers are alarming, and they could get worse.

According to the CDC, the current flu shot is approximately 47% effective.

This year’s flu shot is less than 50% effective overall in preventing an infection.

At the start of the flu season, the most widespread strain of the virus was Influenza A H1N1, but in the last few weeks a more severe strain, Influenza A H3N2 began to circulate, and it’s now responsible for nearly half of the reported cases according to the CDC.

The Texas Health and Human Services also issues a weekly surveillance report which shows the influenza activity in the state is still very high, even though there was a slight decrease in positive test results for influenza this past week.

Sadly, the report also shows two children in Texas died from the flu in the last few weeks.  The first being, the little girl from Garland, Texas Ashanti Grinage, who passed away of pneumonia from flu complications.  She was only four years old. The second, eight-year-old Martin Campbell from Rockport, Texas also was taken too soon hours after having been diagnosed with flu-like symptoms.

Please take the time to get to understand the dangers of the complications from the flu or flu-like symptoms. Most importantly, we recommend to know the signs of alert and follow your gut instinct.

CDC Warns the Flu Season Is Far from Over

According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2018-2019 flu season is still widespread in 48 states and Puerto Rico.

The report estimates that between October 1st, 2018, and February 16th, 2019 there have been

  • 17.7 million to 20.4 million flu illnesses
  • 214,000 to 256,000 flu hospitalizations
  • 13,600 to 22,300 flu-related deaths
  • 41 reported pediatric deaths, seven of those were reported in the week ending on February 16th

When it Comes to Your Kids Trust Your “Parental Sixth Sense”

When children get sick, they can’t always communicate how they feel or explain their symptoms well.

Therefore, you should always follow your instinct; nobody knows your child better than you, so if you notice something strange, or you feel your child’s symptoms are something more than just a cold or a mild case of the flu, it’s time to get a doctor involved.

Children are more vulnerable and more likely to develop severe complications of the flu some of which can be life-threatening.

Possible complications from the flu include:

  • Ear infection
  • Sinus infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis)
  • Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • Inflammation of the muscle tissue (myositis, rhabdomyolysis)
  • Multi-organ failure such as respiratory and kidney failure

If your child has an infection and it is not treated promptly or adequately, it could lead to sepsis, which is the body’s extreme life-threatening response to infection.

Altus Emergency Centers can be a lifesaver in situations where a child’s life is at stake, our guarantee no wait times means your child will be seen by a doctor the minute you walk through our doors.

How to Tell If You Have a Cold or the Flu

The common cold and the flu share some symptoms, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference, especially if you are feeling miserable.

If you suspect you may have the flu, you are welcome to come to Altus Emergency Centers to get tested. 

We are open 24/7 and you will not have to wait in line to receive ER care.

 

Symptoms


Cold


Influenza or Flu


Fever Rare in Adults Usual
Headache Rare Common
Body Aches Mild Severe
Tiredness or Weakness Sometimes Yes, and can last up to 3 weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Rare Usual During the First Days
Nasal Congestion Very Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort – Cough Mild to Moderate cough Common, Can Become Severe
Nausea and Vomiting Rare Common in Children
Chills and Sweats Rare Common

 

As a rule, you should know that Influenza tends to be much more severe than a cold, and for children, the elderly or anyone who has a weak immune system it is more likely to lead to other serious health problems like pneumonia.

What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?

The is no foolproof way to stop from getting the flu; however, some things that can help lower our risk of getting sick.

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap often
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas
  • Keep your distance from people you know are sick
  • Take an immune booster
  • Drink bone-broth, studies show that it is incredibly beneficial for your immune system
  • Try to sleep 7-9 hours every night
  • Exercise
  • Consider getting vaccinated against the flu, this won’t guarantee you won’t get sick, but in some cases, it can help lower the severity of the symptoms.

When to Get Emergency Medical Help

Knowing when to come to the ER can mean the difference between life and death, especially for children and elderly patients.

Come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center if:

  • Your child is vomiting or has uncontrollable diarrhea
  • If you or your child have trouble breathing or if you notice the lips turning blue
  • If the patient is unresponsive
  • You have a fever that has lasted more than 3-days
  • Persistent cough, especially one that comes with phlegm  
  • You develop chest pain
  • You have severe throat pain, this could be a sign of strep throat

All Altus Emergency Centers are prepared to treat any severe symptom or complication of the flu. While feeling under the weather is just part of the process, if you notice any unusual symptoms or if your symptoms rapidly become worse, please come in for an evaluation it could end up saving your life or that of a loved one.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is

Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

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!

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