Flu is a common condition that can make you feel very sick and could be dangerous if you’re not in good health. If you have symptoms of flu, Diane Kushnar, DO, at Ridgepark Family Practice, Inc. in Parma, Ohio, can help. She provides simple onsite testing for flu, as well as annual flu shots to protect you from the most widespread strains of the disease. Call Ridgepark Family Practice, Inc. today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Flu is short for influenza. It’s a viral infection that most people experience at some point throughout their life. Flu causes symptoms such as:
You might also get an ear or sinus infection when you have the flu. In severe cases, having the flu can make you vulnerable to pneumonia. If you’re generally strong and healthy, you should be able to recover from the flu without any lasting effects, but it can lead to fatal complications, so it shouldn’t be treated lightly.
Flu spreads between people rapidly. Anyone who is already sick with the flu will be coughing and sneezing. That means they’re spraying tiny droplets of mucus into the air and leaving them on anything they touch.
If you come into contact with these droplets, you could transfer the virus to your nose or mouth. You could also breathe them in.
If you’ve already had that type of flu, your immune system can fight it off. If you haven’t had that specific strain of flu virus, your body has to create antibodies, and in the meantime, you experience all the unpleasant symptoms of having the flu.
Having a flu shot could prevent you from catching the strain of flu virus that’s most widespread at the time.
Your immune system responds to an invading virus by creating antibodies. The antibodies kill the virus, and your immune system can defend against any future encounter with that particular strain.
Unfortunately, there are many different strains of the flu virus, and having immunity to one of them doesn’t give you immunity to any of the others. Having an annual flu shot introduces a weakened form of the virus into your system so your body can create the antibodies you need to stop you from getting sick.
It’s a good idea to have a flu shot, especially if you’re old, young, or have a chronic health problem or weakened immune system that puts you at a higher risk of developing complications.
If you’re not sure, talk to Dr. Kushnar at Ridgepark Family Practice, Inc. about whether you need a flu shot. As Dr. Kushnar treats the whole family, you and your children can get your flu shots in one convenient visit.
Because the flu is a virus, taking antibiotics won’t help as they only work on bacterial infections. If you develop flu symptoms, you should rest, drink plenty of water, and eat light, nutritious foods such as chicken broth.
You can take over-the-counter flu medicines to help ease symptoms like headaches and sore throat. If your symptoms are severe or you aren’t improving within a few days, you should call Ridgepark Family Practice, Inc. With on-site testing, Dr. Kushnar can provide additional treatments such as antivirals if your condition is serious.
Call Ridgepark Family Practice, Inc. today if you’re concerned about flu or you want to arrange a flu shot. Alternatively, book an appointment using the online tool.