Flu Season 2018-2019

Medical City Virtual Care

Flu Shots and Prevention

For the 2018-2019 flu season, the CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get their annual flu shot by the end of October. It takes a couple of weeks for full immunity to kick in, but you’ll still be protected during that waiting period and may have less severe symptoms if you do get sick.

Flu shots for the whole family are available at 30 CareNow Urgent Care locations across North Texas.

Good news this season — FluMist® is back! The CDC says this year’s nasal spray version of the flu vaccine is effective, which is good news for many parents. However, FluMist isn’t approved for everyone, including:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children under 2 and adults 50 and over
  • People with chronic health issues or weakened immune systems
  • Children 2 to 4 years old with asthma or history of wheezing (all people with asthma should check with their doctor before getting FluMist)

Flu Symptoms

Each year, five to 20 percent of Americans are expected to get the flu. There’s definitely a flu season, but according to the CDC, its peak (when the highest number of people test positive for the influenza virus) has occurred anywhere from late November through March. So it’s really tough to tell if you’re out of the woods until April showers bring May flowers.

Here are some common flu symptoms that may indicate whether you’ve caught this extremely contagious respiratory disease:

  • Fever, feeling feverish or having chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

Most people who come down with the flu will recover within one to two weeks, but some people will develop more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia, bronchitis or even sepsis. Infants and children under five, pregnant women, adults over 65 and people with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems are more susceptible to possible life-threatening complications.

When to get care for flu.

Most cases of flu can be treated at home with rest, fluids and over-the-counter medications for symptoms and pain relief. There are times, however, when you may need to seek treatment for flu. When flu symptoms are not an emergency, here are two easy and convenient care options.

Medical City Virtual Care

Medical City Virtual Care can help you feel better … fast. Log in from any computer or mobile device and get diagnosis and treatment for a variety of non-emergency medical conditions, including flu. With 24/7 access to licensed, board-certified physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants and visits that take just five to 15 minutes to complete, you’ve got healthcare excellence at your fingertips.

Visits are $45 — about the cost of a typical office visit co-pay. Save $10 off your first visit with code MEDCITY10.

CareNow Urgent Care

CareNow Urgent Care offers diagnosis and treatment for minor injuries and illness at more than 30 convenient locations in DFW. Your whole family can get flu shots, flu testing to confirm an influenza diagnosis and flu treatment, including antiviral medication to help ease symptoms and shorten an illness. No appointment is necessary and you can use Web Check-In® from home to avoid waiting.

When to go to the ER with flu.

Children who exhibit these emergency warning signs of flu sickness should receive immediate medical attention:

  • Fast breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Skin turning a bluish color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or lethargic (lack of interest or energy)
  • Extreme irritability (even holding the child isn’t comforting)
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

Whether in addition to the above or on their own, any infant with these warning signs needs immediate medical help:

  • Inability to eat
  • Breathing problems
  • No tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

Emergency warning signs of flu sickness in adults include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In additions to these guidelines, if your gut is telling you that a call to your physician or a visit to an urgent care center or ER is necessary, listen to your intuition. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Cold vs. Flu

Learn more about preventing and treating the flu and viruses:

5 Surprising Things to Know About Flu and Asthma

How to Prevent and Treat Cyclospora Infection

Can Flu Make Your Heart Sick?

What to Know About RSV

Tips to Prepare Kids for the Flu Shot

What to Know About Norovirus and Stomach Flu

When to Be Concerned About 5 Common Symptoms

Unusual Treatments for Cold and Flu Symptoms

If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.