View all News

Cold or Flu? No Appointment Necessary


Walk In When You Need Us

This is the time of year for colds and flu, but don’t worry… we have you covered all year-round.  When you or your child is feeling under the weather, make an appointment or just walk in to any of our South Strand Internists & Urgent Care locations. If you suspect the flu, come in to see us right away.  Identifying the flu virus early not only helps prevent it from spreading, but allows for treatment that can reduce the severity of symptoms and possibly shorten the duration of the illness. For flu medicine to work, you must get the medicine fast: within the first 2 days of flu symptoms.

What exactly is the flu?
The flu is a specific and serious respiratory “disease” though some mistakenly think of it as just a severe cold.  Not only can the flu and its complications cost you time away from work, in severe cases, flu may result in hospitalization and may even lead to death.

What are the signs of the flu?
Every person is different, so signs, symptoms and the impact of the flu aren’t the same for everyone, but typically you start feeling sick rather suddenly from the flu. You might develop:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • achy muscles
  • sore throat
  • dry cough
  • runny or stuffy nose

Stomach symptoms, more common in children than adults, can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

How does the flu spread?
Flu is a contagious and easily-spread disease by:

  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • nasal secretions

People can start spreading the flu before they even realize they have it and not everyone with the flu will have a fever. You can be sick and contagious without running a temperature. Healthy-feeling adults may be able to infect others a day before symptoms even develop and five to seven days after flu symptoms begin.

How serious is the flu?
Complications from the flu may include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and dehydration. The flu can also worsen chronic medical conditions, like congestive heart failure, asthma, and diabetes.  These groups are at greater risk of flu complications:

  • Older adults (over 65)
  • Young children (especially younger than 2 years old)
  • Pregnant women
  • People with certain health conditions like asthma, heart disease, liver and kidney disorders, and morbidly obese people
  • Native Americans

What action can I take to help prevent the flu?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. According to the CDC, vaccination against the flu is recommended each year for everyone 6 months of age and older.

Stop by any of our offices today, all with convenient hours and open seven days a week.  It’s not too late to get a flu shot. An annual flu vaccination is the best way to reduce your chances of getting and spreading the flu.

If I do get the flu, are there any medications to treat it?
A doctor can prescribe antiviral medication to treat illness from the flu. These medicines may come in pill, liquid or in the form of a powder that is inhaled (breathed in). Medicine can make you less sick from the flu and help you get better faster.  For flu medicine to work, you must get the medicine fast: within the first 2 days of flu symptoms.