Since we’re changing seasons, we are also welcoming the cool breeze and vibrant foliage as well as unwanted illnesses: the flu and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). AFC Urgent Care New Britain is your steadfast partner, dedicated to equipping you and your family with knowledge and preparedness to learn more about the nature of these two viruses as well as how to avoid them. AFC Urgent Care New Britain created a guide so you can understand the symptoms, preventive measures, and the role of vaccines to safeguard your health this winter season.
Flu Versus RSV Symptoms
Understanding Influenza (Flu)
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infiltrate and infect the respiratory system, including the nasal passages, throat, and lungs. Certain individuals, such as those aged 65 and older, young children, and individuals with specific health conditions, face an elevated risk of experiencing severe complications resulting from the flu.
Two primary categories of influenza (flu) viruses exist: types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that consistently circulate among humans, often termed human influenza viruses, are responsible for the annual occurrence of seasonal flu epidemics.
- High fever
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
While most individuals recover from the flu, it can lead to severe complications, particularly among those with compromised immune systems or preexisting medical conditions.
Respiratory syncytial virus, abbreviated as RSV, is a prevalent respiratory virus that typically induces mild symptoms resembling those of a common cold. The majority of people recover within one to two weeks, but RSV can pose a significant threat. Infants and elderly adults are more susceptible to developing severe RSV symptoms, occasionally requiring hospitalization. Vaccines are available to protect older adults from severe RSV, while monoclonal antibody products are accessible to safeguard infants and young children against severe RSV.
Common symptoms may include:
- Coughing and sneezing
- Respiratory difficulties
Protecting Yourself from RSV and the Flu
Preventing the Flu
- The CDC strongly recommends receiving an annual flu vaccine as the primary and most crucial measure to guard against flu viruses.
- It is advisable for everyone aged 6 months and older to obtain an annual flu vaccine, preferably by the end of October. Also please note that we also offer “fluzone” high dose flu shots for seniors and those 65 and up.
- Avoid close contact with individuals who are currently ill.
- If you find yourself unwell, limit contact with others as much as possible to prevent virus transmission.
- Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
In cases of the flu, the CDC advises individuals to stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever has subsided, with the exception of seeking medical care or fulfilling essential needs. The fever should naturally subside without the need for fever-reducing medications.
- The CDC recommends that all children under 8 months of age receive nirsevimab to protect them during their first RSV season.
- Consider obtaining a Nasal swab RSV test at AFC Urgent Care New Britain.
- An RSV vaccine is available to protect adults aged 60 years and older from RSV disease. Older adults are at a greater risk than their younger counterparts for experiencing severe RSV-related complications due to the gradual weakening of their immune systems.
- When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue or your shirt sleeve as a safeguard rather than your hands.
Although we do not offer a vaccine for RSV, discussing RSV vaccination options with your healthcare provider is a wise choice, especially for high-risk individuals. Currently, certain pharmacies are offering RSV vaccines for those of you looking to double up on your vaccine protection.
AFC Urgent Care New Britain Offers Flu Shots And RSV Testing 7 Days A Week!
At AFC Urgent Care New Britain, we are dedicated to keeping you informed and prepared for the upcoming flu season. We offer flu shots that will ensure you are covered and protected throughout the season as well as RSV testing to give you peace of mind.
We are here 7 days a week to provide prompt and professional care precisely when you need it. Our commitment to your convenience encompasses accessible 7-day availability, flexible walk-in and appointment scheduling, and an effortless online payment system.