The flu is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system, causing mild to severe symptoms. Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania is a family medicine practice that provides care for those with a flu infection, as well as vaccines to protect them from getting very sick. For flu care, call one of the offices located in Nuremberg, Sullivan Trail Falls, Freeland, Hazelton, Monroe Township, Wilkes-Barre, Shickshinny, or Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, or schedule an appointment online today.
The flu is an illness caused by the influenza family of viruses. These viruses affect the respiratory system, infecting the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs.
The flu is highly contagious and spreads from person to person when someone with the infectious virus coughs, sneezes, or talks, sending tiny droplets into the air that land in the mouth or nose of the people nearby.
You can also get the flu when touching an object with the flu virus, but this type of transmission is less common.
You're most contagious during the first three to four days of your illness.
Though often mistaken for a cold, flu symptoms come on a lot faster than cold symptoms, developing about two days after exposure to the virus.
Typical flu symptoms include:
Your flu symptoms may last a few days or lead to more serious health complications such as pneumonia, an ear infection, or a sinus infection.
Children and older adults are at greater risk of developing more severe flu symptoms.
In most cases, you can manage your flu symptoms with at-home care. However, you should schedule an appointment at Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania if your flu symptoms last longer than seven days.
You also need medical care for the flu if you’re experiencing shortness of breath, a high fever, or other signs of concern. You should also schedule an appointment if you have flu-like symptoms and are at risk for complications because of your age or an underlying health condition.
Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania performs a flu test to check for the infection and then provides recommendations for managing your symptoms.
If you come in during the first day or two of your flu infection, your provider may prescribe an antiviral medication that may help decrease the duration of your illness.
You can get the flu vaccine at any time. However, Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania recommends getting the flu vaccine before flu season. This means scheduling your annual flu vaccine in September or October.
Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu or developing serious symptoms.
For expert flu care, call Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania or schedule an appointment online today.