Every year brings a new flu bug to challenge our immune systems. The flu virus adapts each year and can be hard to predict. The flu shot is designed with the latest strains in mind, and often offers good protection. TMH provides flu shots each year through our Walk-In Clinic.
Is it the Flu or a Cold?
At first, the flu mimics the common cold with a sore throat, runny nose and sneezing. The difference is the flu comes on fast, hits hard and lasts longer—one to two weeks—while a cold is generally slower to show and more mild. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of the flu include:
Fever over 100 degrees
Aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
Chills and sweats
Fatigue and weakness
Get Care Early to Lessen Severity
The CDC is recommending that people who are showing signs of the flu should see their doctor for one of two antiviral drugs—Tamiflu and Relenza. When received within a day or two it can reduce the length and severity of the flu.
Watch Babies and Young Children Closely
It is important to do what you can to protect your young children against its effects. If your child is exhibiting symptoms, see your doctor. Also, consider a flu shot—the CDC recommends the vaccine for babies 6 months and older. Since babies can’t blow their own noses, they need help clearing their airways during bouts of colds and flu. That’s where the TMH Suction Clinic comes in. The clinic is open 24/7 and parents can bring their child up to 4 times a day for a week with a single prescription from their doctor. TMH respiratory therapists use a nasopharyngeal suction machine to suck out secretions. Therapists also evaluate your child’s respiratory rate and oxygen saturation. Patients check in at the ED main desk. Cost is $128 per visit. “Signs that your baby is having difficulty breathing include an inability to suck a bottle, rapid breathing, noisy breathing, wheezing and retracting or pulling in underneath their rib cage while breathing. If you see these signs your baby needs to be evaluated,” states a TMH provider.