The flu is a serious virus. Each year in the United States, over 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die from seasonal flu complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 2009-2010 season could be worse. The new H1N1, flu virus is spreading worldwide. This virus may cause more illness or more severe illness than usual.
Flu-like symptoms include:
- fever (usually high)
- extreme tiredness
- dry cough
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle aches
- sore throat
- sometimes diarrhea
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please see your Heritage Valley primary care physician today or visit one of our ConvenientCare locations. To schedule an appointment or for office and ConvenientCare locations, please call 877-771-HVHS (4847).
To receive a flu shot, please schedule an appointment with a Heritage Valley primary care physician or visit a Heritage Valley ConvenientCare location. With no appointment necessary and extended hours of operation, Heritage Valley ConvenientCare locations are linked to our extensive network of primary care physicians and are an alternative to hospital emergency departments for treatment of minor illnesses and injuries.
1. TAKE THE TIME TO GET VACCINATED
- A yearly seasonal flu vaccine is the first step in protecting against seasonal flu.
- The vaccine protects against the three seasonal viruses* that research suggests will be most common.
- Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of serious flu complications, including
young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or
heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
- Vaccination is important for healthcare workers and those that live with or care for high risk people.
2. TAKE EVERYDAY PREVENTIVE ACTIONS
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Dispose of tissues in the trash after use.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand cleaners, especially after
you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
3. TAKE FLU ANTIVIRAL DRUGS IF RECOMMENDED
- If you get seasonal or H1N1 flu, antiviral drugs can treat the flu.
- Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the
flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body and can make your illness milder.
- Antiviral drugs may also prevent serious flu complications and may be especially important for
people who are very sick or those who are at increased risk of serious flu complications, such as
pregnant women, young children and those with chronic health conditions.
- Antiviral drugs work best if started within the first two (2) days of symptoms.
For up-to-date information, please visit one of the following links or click on the CDC Flu Info “button” below:
*A seasonal vaccine will not protect you against H1N1. According to the CDC, a new vaccine against novel
H1N1 is being produced and will be available in the coming months as an option for prevention of novel H1N1 infection. People at greatest risk for novel H1N1 infection include children, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease.