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Be Prepared, Flu Season is Here

Jan 15, 2019

Rio Grande Valley – The height of flu season is here and with so many getting sick it’s important to reduce your chances of getting sick.

Flu Season Ahead road signAccording to Dr. Campo Maldonado, Infectious Disease Specialist, Valley Baptist Medical Center-University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine faculty, “The Flu is a contagious illness caused by a virus which can infect your nose, throat and even your lungs and can spread very easily through tiny droplets when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. This virus can change a lot from one year to the next and the protection we get from the vaccine decreases over time. Getting the flu vaccine can prevent you from getting sick with the flu and can protect you and your loved ones from the flu and flu associated complications, including being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and in some cases preventing major adverse cardiac events. Important words of advice: Get the Flu vaccine!”

Here are some tips from Valley Baptist Health System to ensure you stay healthy this flu season:

Get Your Flu Shot – Getting your flu shot is the single best way to prevent the flu. All persons 6 months or older should get the flu vaccine with rare exceptions. Consult with your doctor before getting a flu vaccine if you had an allergic reaction to the flu shot, a rare complication of the flu vaccine which presents with weakness or paralysis (Guillain-Barré syndrome) or if you are very ill at the time you will receive the vaccine.

Wash Your Hands – Washing your hands with soap and water can drastically reduce your chances of becoming sick.

Avoid Contact with People who are Sick – Avoiding people who are sick can lessen your chances of picking up any illnesses. If traveling on airplanes or being in tight quartered areas wear a face mask. If a family member is sick keeping them away as much as possible from other family can reduce risk.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle – Ensuring you get plenty of fluids, a well-balanced diet and lots of sleep will keep your immune system in top shape for staying healthy.

If You have the Flu – Protect others limiting close contact, washing your hands often and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. The spread of flu can often happen from people returning to school or work prematurely. To ensure you get well and don’t spread the virus, it is recommended to be without a fever for more than 24 hours.

“Even if you follow these steps, you still may get sick this season,” said Romero. “If you have a fever for more than 24 hours contact your physician or go to an urgent care for a check-up. If it is the flu, catching it in the first 48 hours is important so an anti-viral medication can be given to drastically reduce symptoms.”

Common symptoms to know if it’s a cold or the flu:

Cold Symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Fever is uncommon in adults, but a slight fever is possible

Flu Symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches and soreness
  • Congestion
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Headache

If you have any of the above symptoms, it’s important to call your doctor or seek medical attention.

In addition to their two acute care hospitals, Valley Baptist Health System recently expanded emergency services with two free-standing emergency centers in Harlingen and Brownsville. Both centers provide additional access points for 24-hour emergency care, offering residents emergent care close to home.

Valley Baptist Medical Center – Harlingen
2101 Pease Street

Valley Baptist Emergency Center-Harlingen
1725 N. Ed Carey Dr.

Valley Baptist Medical Center – Brownsville
1040 West Jefferson Street

Valley Baptist Emergency Center-Brownsville
2073 E. Ruben Torres Sr. Blvd

For more information on Valley Baptist Health System visit: www.valleybaptist.net

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