February 6, 2020
With flu activity rising in Washington State, what should you do if you catch the flu?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is recommended to receive your flu shot at the start of the flu season in October. Receiving your flu vaccine is the most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complications. Influenza is unpredictable every year and can fluctuate in timing, length, and severity.
The flu activity in Washington State is currently elevated, with estimated 19,000,000 – 26,000,000 total flu illnesses in the United States.
"It takes about 7-10 days to develop full immunity with the flu shot from the time you are dosed with it,” said Dr. Carson Seeber of Tri-State Clarkston Family Practice. "Children and adults over the age of 65 or patients with chronic heart or lung conditions are at the highest risk... diabetics and those with immune system dysfunction are at increased risk of more severe cases of influenza."
There are different strains of influenza, including A, B, and C, and then there are subtypes of each. It is possible to get another strain of influenza in the same flu season. It is much less likely to get the same strain of influenza twice because your body forms antibodies to that subtype.
If you or a loved ends up with the flu, what are the best protective practices to utilize?
- Limit contact with others as much as possible to keep them safe from illness
- Stay home for at least 24-hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities (your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine)
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw away the tissue when done
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu
It’s not too late to receive a flu shot! Flu vaccines are currently available at our Clarkston and Lewiston Family Practice Clinics. To make arrangements to receive the flu vaccine or an additional booster, you may contact Clarkston Family Practice at 509.758.1450 or Lewiston Family Practice at 208.848.9001.
For more information on how to treat the flu visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.