The flu can make healthy people sick for several days or weeks and lead to potentially dangerous complications in sensitive groups. Sheryl Simpson, DO, and the expert team at Howell Family Care offer flu diagnosis, treatment, and immunization shots. Don’t hesitate to protect yourself and your loved ones from the seasonal flu. Call or book an appointment online today at the Howell, Michigan, office.
Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious illness the influenza virus causes. This virus attacks your nose, throat, and lungs, causing symptoms that range from mild to severe. In most cases, the flu resolves on its own. However, complications of the flu can be deadly.
People at high risk of developing dangerous flu complications include:
Adults over age 65
Children under age five
Women up to two weeks postpartum
People with weakened immune systems
Very obese people with a BMI of 40 or above
Additionally, people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, and kidney disease are at increased risk of flu complications.
It’s easy to confuse the flu with the common cold since they share many of the same symptoms. However, a cold tends to sneak up on you gradually while the flu usually hits more suddenly. Common symptoms of the flu include:
Fever over 100.4º
Chills and sweats
Dry, persistent cough
Muscle aches and soreness
Fatigue and weakness
Flu symptoms also tend to be more severe than symptoms of the common cold. While a cold may be a nuisance, the flu can keep you in bed for a few days or longer.
An annual flu shot is your best defense against the influenza virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone over six months old get a flu shot every year.
Since the flu virus changes annually, it’s important to keep getting seasonal flu vaccines to protect yourself from the three or four most prevalent influenza viruses any given year.
Dr. Simpson and the team at Howell Family Care offer flu vaccines to patients of all ages. Not only does getting a flu shot protect you, but it also prevents you from spreading this contagious virus to your entire family.
If you have a child, elderly adult, or other high-risk loved one in your home, it’s especially important to get a flu shot. To find out if you’re at high risk of flu complications or to schedule a flu vaccine, call Howell Family Care or book an appointment online.