Flu season typically begins in early fall and can last through late spring, with peak flu levels often occurring in December and January. Learn about the early signs and symptoms of the flu so that you can take appropriate action to stay healthy this flu season. Visit AFC Urgent Care West Long Branch for fast and reliable illness care available seven days a week with no appointment needed. Walk in today.
How Does The Flu Spread?
A viral infection caused by the influenza virus is what causes the flu. Like all viruses, the influenza virus is extremely contagious. Flu season aligns with colder weather due to the increased time spent indoors in close proximity to others. Being indoors with poor air circulation can spread the flu by exposing healthy individuals to microscopic droplets released by infected individuals. In many cases, someone with the flu won’t have any symptoms for the first 3-4 days of their illness. This allows infected individuals to spread their infection to others unknowingly through everyday actions.
The flu virus can also live on surfaces, meaning that someone with the flu can spread the virus by leaving their germs on commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs and faucets. The virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours, which can result in the unintentional infection of many healthy individuals.
Common Symptoms of the Flu
The flu can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms. Flu symptoms usually appear 1-4 days after the infection has started. Symptoms are usually short-lived and intense. They often resolve within a week. Due to how contagious the flu can be, it is important to look out for the early symptoms of the flu to avoid spreading your illness to others.
Flu symptoms often are ignored at first, allowing the virus to spread. This is because the flu usually begins with mild symptoms. In many cases, the early symptoms of the flu can be confused for symptoms of the common cold. These symptoms may include congestion, a mild cough, or a general sense of fatigue. Even if you’re not feeling very ill, you should always seek a medical diagnosis for illness symptoms during flu season to ensure that you’re not experiencing the early symptoms of the flu.
Common flu symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Upset stomach
- Loss of appetite
In most cases, healthy adults can fight off the flu virus within a week. The flu can be a serious illness for anyone who is at risk for serious illness, including immunocompromised individuals and anyone with underlying lung or heart conditions. Similarly, the elderly and young children should seek medical care for flu-like symptoms for proper medical support.
Flu Prevention Tips
No one enjoys being sick. That’s why it is important to take the necessary steps to stay healthy and avoid contracting the flu this winter. Although avoiding the flu can be tricky, especially if you work in an office building or attend school where it is difficult to avoid contact with others who could be carrying the flu, there are some steps you can take to help reduce your risk of getting the flu.
Wash Your Hands: Although it may seem simple, making sure that you wash your hands often and correctly can greatly reduce your risk of contracting the flu. It is important to wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places or directly touching other people.
Avoid Touching Your Face: The flu virus needs to enter your respiratory system to cause an infection. Therefore, if you contract the flu by touching a doorknob, the virus can travel to your respiratory system if you touch your face afterward. Although you may be washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face at all can help reduce your chances of getting sick.
Stay Home If You’re Feeling Sick: Although it won’t prevent you from contracting an illness, staying home if you’re experiencing illness symptoms can help protect the people around you from getting sick. It is common courtesy to self-isolate until your symptoms have resolved, so do your part and keep the people around you safe by staying home if you’re feeling sick.
Walk-Into AFC Urgent Care West Long Branch for Flu Diagnosis & Treatment
If you’re experiencing illness symptoms, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect the people around you from getting sick. At AFC Urgent Care West Long Branch, our medical providers are board-certified and able to identify and treat a variety of common illnesses, including the flu. If you’re feeling under the weather, walk into AFC Urgent Care West Long Branch for same-day illness care, or schedule an appointment online.
At AFC Urgent Care West Long Branch, we understand that your time is valuable. That is why we never require you to schedule an appointment in advance to receive fast and accurate medical care. We offer walk-in medical care for a variety of different concerns seven days a week for patients in West Long Branch, NJ, and the surrounding communities. We maintain short wait times so that you can get the care that you need exactly when you need it. For additional information regarding our clinic, please contact us directly by calling (732) 222-8000.