Flu season is approaching! Generally, influenza is seen October through March but Austin started seeing cases mid-September last year. Therefore, it is imperative that early vaccination be a health priority. There is some controversy regarding early versus late vaccination. Some believe that early vaccination does not cover you completely through flu season however, it is more important to vaccinate early to prevent infection rather than wait for a later date or a more potent vaccine. Capital Medical Clinic offers a free daily flu vaccine clinic…stay tuned for those dates.
Keep in mind the flu vaccine does not guarantee that you will not catch the flu. Protection rates can vary from 60-80%. More importantly, the flu vaccine protects against life-threatening complications that can result from influenza infection such as pneumonia; vaccination must be performed yearly to receive these benefits. Certain patient groups are considered high risk for complications and should receive the flu vaccine at the very beginning of flu season:
- Adults age 65 and older
- Pregnant women
- Adults with chronic diseases including diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, asthma/COPD, and/or heart disease
- Patients undergoing medical treatment that affects the immune system such as therapy for HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, etc.
- All adults living in a residential or nursing home and employees of nursing homes, medical offices, and hospitals
If you believe that you may have the flu or have been in contact with someone with influenza, you should seek evaluation within 48 hours. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, body aches, headaches, and sudden onset of symptoms. There is a treatment for influenza in most cases. Please contact our front office at 512-454-5171 for scheduling.
Until next time,
David Hoch, PA-C