Marketing/PR Contact: Rosie QuinonesRQuinones@mydoublehelices.com
Summer is almost over, the Back to School rush is in full effect and patients with flu-like symptoms are already appearing in physician and urgent care facilities. Many are unaware of the exact meaning of the Flu and what the symptoms are. Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to complications. Influenza seasons are unpredictable, and can begin as early as October. However HELIX Medical Centers are already seeing patients with flu-like symptoms, which leads us to believe that this upcoming flu season is expected to start much sooner than the past years!
Getting a flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your family.The CDC recommends that individuals older than 6 months get vaccinated against influenza as soon as 2012-2013 flu season vaccine becomes available in their community and at minimum once a year. HELIX Medical Centers will be prepared for this early season. Over the course of a flu season, CDC studies samples of flu viruses circulating throughout the season to evaluate how close a match there is between viruses used to make the vaccine and the circulating viruses. The flu vaccine will protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus.
Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. It’s especially important for some people to get vaccinated immediately, as it takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to take full effect. Those individuals who are over 65 years of age, young children, pregnant women, and have certain health conditions such as asthma, chronic congestive heart failure, or immune deficient conditions such as leukemia, and HIV should be the ones most aware of the severity of this disease.
If you do not have a primary doctor or nurse, or if they are unavailable, don't despair, you can get a flu vaccine in any of our three conveniently located HELIX Medical Centers. A flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses are constantly changing. It’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year forcing health deparments to keep up with the flu viruses as they change. Also, multiple studies conducted over different seasons and across vaccine types and influenza virus subtypes have shown that the body’s immunity to influenza viruses (acquired either through natural infection or vaccination) declines over time.
If you or someone you know is experiencing high fever, body aches, headaches, among other symptoms please visit your nearest medical facility. HELIX Medical Centers are available and prepared; we have locations in Deefield Beach, Lake Worth and Tequesta. Each location is equipped with a rapid flu test that only takes a few minutes to determine if management for influenza is needed.
Written by: HELIX Medical Centers: Adrian Bellido, PA- C