September 26, 2022
Coppell – With school back in session, North Texas CareNow® locations have seen early influenza cases prompting experts to provide important prevention reminders. October typically marks the official beginning of flu season, which can last through May.
“The best way to help avoid getting the flu is to get the seasonal influenza vaccination,” says CareNow Regional Medical Director Shawn Riley, MD. “Most people 6 months of age and older should receive the annual seasonal flu vaccine, with rare exceptions.”
The vaccine takes about two weeks to achieve full effectiveness. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time, according to the CDC.
“Kids younger than five years old, adults older than 65 and people with chronic medical conditions are considered high-risk groups for serious complications of the flu, such as pneumonia, and are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated each year,” says Dr. Riley. “In addition to the flu vaccine, there are many easy hygiene habits that can help prevent viruses from spreading.”
The experts at CareNow urgent care recommend these healthy tips to help prevent and reduce the spread of flu, cold and COVID-19 viruses:
- Frequent handwashing: Soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can kill germs on hands.
- Cover coughs/sneezes: These viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people cough, sneeze or talk. Dr. Riley adds, “Don’t forget cough and sneeze etiquette by covering your mouth with a disposable tissue.”
- Avoid close contact: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. People who are sick should keep their distance to protect others from getting sick.
- Avoid touching the face: Germs can spread when a person touches something contaminated and then touches their own eyes, nose or mouth.
- Keep high-touch places clean: Countertops, handles and door knobs, toys, TV remotes and game controls are among those that should be frequently disinfected.
- Open a window: Airflow can help carry germs away from occupants in a stuffy room where they may remain airborne.
CareNow is offering $20 flu shots at all North Texas locations.