As the seasons transition, ushering in cooler weather and vibrant foliage, they also introduce some uninvited guests: the flu and RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). AFC Urgent Care Torrington is committed to keeping you and your family healthy, well-informed and prepared this holiday season with our guide on understanding the differences between flu and RSV.
What Exactly Are the Flu and RSV?
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness triggered by influenza viruses that invade and infect the respiratory system, encompassing the nasal passages, throat, and lungs. Certain individuals, including those aged 65 and older, young children, and individuals with specific health conditions, face an increased risk of encountering severe complications stemming from the flu. There exist two primary categories of influenza (flu) viruses: namely, types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that regularly circulate among humans, often termed human influenza viruses, are accountable for the annual onset of seasonal flu epidemics.
Typical symptoms may include:
- Elevated fever
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
While most individuals recuperate from the flu, it can lead to severe complications, particularly among those with weakened immune systems or preexisting medical conditions.
Respiratory syncytial virus, abbreviated as RSV, is a prevalent respiratory virus that typically induces mild symptoms akin to 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, sometimes necessitating hospitalization. There are vaccines available to shield older adults from severe RSV, while monoclonal antibody products are accessible for the protection of infants and young children against severe RSV. Common symptoms may include:
- Coughing and sneezing
- Respiratory difficulties
In severe cases, RSV can lead to respiratory distress, particularly in infants and the elderly.
How to Protect Yourself from RSV and the Flu
Taking proactive measures to shield yourself from the flu and RSV is crucial, and the following strategies can be of great benefit:
For the Flu:
- The CDC strongly advocates receiving an annual flu vaccine as the primary and most critical measure to guard against flu viruses. Please note that we also offer “fluzone” high dose flu shots for seniors and those 65 and up.
- It is advisable for everyone aged 6 months and older to obtain an annual flu vaccine, ideally by the end of October.
- Steer clear of close contact with individuals who are currently unwell.
- If you find yourself feeling unwell, limit contact with others as much as possible to prevent transmitting the virus.
- Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
In cases of the flu, the CDC advises individuals to stay at 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 dissipate without the need for fever-reducing medications.
- The CDC recommends that all children under 8 months of age receive nirsevimab to safeguard them during their first RSV season.
- Consider obtaining a Nasal swab RSV test at AFC Urgent CareTorrington.
- An RSV vaccine is accessible 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, employ a tissue or your shirt sleeve rather than your hands as a safeguard.
AFC Urgent Care Torrington: A Healthcare Partner You Can Trust
At AFC Urgent Care Torrington, we are here for you:
- 7-Days a week: Recognizing that health concerns can arise at any time, we maintain operational readiness seven days a week. Whether it's a regular weekday, weekend, or even a holiday, you can rely on us for RSV testing, COVID-19 testing and flu vaccinations
- Walk-In and Appointment Scheduling: We cater to your preferences, allowing you to choose between walking in or scheduling an appointment. Our adaptable approach ensures that you receive the care you require on your own terms.
- Online Payment System: We endeavor to simplify your healthcare experience. Our online payment system empowers you to manage your bills effortlessly.
Remember, prevention is the cornerstone of health, and getting vaccinated against the flu can help the fight against these unwanted illnesses.