The Doctor Is In: Influenza – Now Here!

Posted on: 1:07 pm, December 23, 2013, by

(KPLR) – There’s been a big increase in the number of influenza cases in the St. Louis area. Dr. Sonny Saggar talks with Jeff Bernthal about it.

Connect with Dr. Saggar, the Medical Director at St. Louis Urgent Cares at:
www.stlurgentcares.com
• Twitter: @DoctorIsInSTL
• Facebook: DoctorIsInSTL
• Blog: DoctorIsInSTL.com

Does the Flu Vaccine Really Prevent Flu?

The benefits of vaccination seen in 2012-2013 were greater than the CDC had seen before and were attributable to the severity of the season, he noted.

Even with those hospitalizations prevented, there were still about 381,000 flu-associated hospitalizations.

The best way to be protected from the flu is to be vaccinated. Yet only 40 percent of Americans aged 6 months and older had been vaccinated by early November.

Flu across the country is picking up and even greater activity is predicted in the coming weeks,

We know that it will increase in the coming weeks and months, but we cannot predict where and when and how severe this year’s flu season will be.

What we can predict is that the best way you can protect yourself againstflu is to get a flu vaccine. It’s not too late for you to get vaccinated and to make sure you protect yourself and your family, your coworkers and your community.

All pregnant women should get vaccinated to protect both themselves and their infants.

Also, all health care workers need to be vaccinated.

Already three children have died fromflu, none of whom were vaccinated.

Take home message: speak with your doctor, or come and get a flu vaccine from your urgent care center.

How Can You Tell If It’s Flu or Cold?

Symptoms          Cold       Flu

Fever    Sometimes, usually mild               Usual; higher (100-102 F; occasionally higher, especially in young children); lasts 3 to 4 days

Headache            Occasionally       Common

General Aches, Pains     Slight     Usual; often severe

Fatigue, Weakness          Sometimes         Usual; can last 2 to 3 weeks

Extreme Exhaustion       Never   Usual; at the beginning of the illness

Stuffy Nose        Common             Sometimes

Sneezing              Usual     Sometimes

Sore Throat        Common             Sometimes

Chest Discomfort, Cough              Mild to moderate; hacking cough             Common; often severe

Complications    Sinus congestion; middle ear infection   Sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infection, pneumonia; can be life-threatening

Prevention         Wash hands often; avoid close contact with anyone with a cold Wash hands often; avoid close contact with anyone who has flu symptoms; get the annual flu vaccine

Treatment          Decongestants; pain reliever/fever reducer medicines  Decongestants, pain relievers, or fever reducers are available over the counter; over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not be given to young children; prescription antiviral drugs for flu may be given in some cases; call your doctor for more information about treatment. Hydration. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Rest.

Happy Holidays! Next week we will talk about healthy New Year’s resolutions that you have a good chance of keeping!

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St. Louis Urgent Cares has 4 locations in St. Louis:

1.            Downtown Urgent Care,

2.            Eureka Urgent Care,

3.            Creve Coeur Urgent Care, and now also

4.            North City Urgent Care.

Connect with Dr. Saggar, the Medical Director at St. Louis Urgent Cares at:
www.stlurgentcares.com
• Twitter: @DoctorIsInSTL
• Facebook: DoctorIsInSTL
• Blog: DoctorIsInSTL.com

Every patient who comes in to see us for any illness or injury is offered a flu shot at no extra charge!