Spring may be just around the corner, but across the United States we’re entering the peak of flu season.We’ve already seen dozens of cases in both our Birmingham and Trussville clinics and anticipate even more as we move into February. If you and your family haven’t received annual flu vaccines, now is the time!  

Prevention is key during flu season, but despite our best efforts there’s still a chance that your children may come down with the flu. Our goal is to always provide you with the information necessary to keep your family healthy and happy all year long, which is why we want to share the three steps for early flu detection and treatment.

The first step to treating the flu is knowing how to spot the signs. Cold and flu symptoms can sometimes mimic one another, but there are a few distinct differences between the two. The flu appears much more abruptly, with symptoms often arising without any warning. Moderate to high-grade fever, body aches and fatigue are also symptoms specific to the flu. Regardless of the signs, be sure to go to your local pediatrician or Urgent Care for Children clinic if symptoms persist for an extended period of time.

Step two for beating the flu is getting properly diagnosed by a doctor. Rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) are one of the most commonly used ways to detect the virus. These can be administered at your primary care facility and deliver results in less than 15 minutes. While these tests are important for detecting the flu, they’re not always failproof. Be sure to list and describe all symptoms to a doctor so that they can provide a proper diagnosis and see to it that treatment begins immediately.

The last step for getting over the flu is of course following the treatment plan provided to you by a doctor. Antivirals are the typical prescription for addressing the flu and are most effective within 48 hours of symptoms emerging. Not only do antiviral drugs lessen flu symptoms and shorten the time you are sick, but they also help prevent serious complications such as pneumonia. Make sure to complete the entire antiviral regimen prescribed even if you start to feel better. This ensures that the virus is completely eliminated from your system and that there is a lesser chance of getting sick again. 

Coming down with the flu isn’t fun for anyone, which is why early detection and treatment are key to feeling better in no time. Our team at Urgent Care for Children is here to help you and your family fight through flu season and feel better faster.

If you or your little ones start to display signs of the flu, save your spot online and visit the team at UCC! 

Source: Center for Disease Control

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