So you never got around to getting a flu shot for your child. Is it still worth it to get one now?
“It is never too late to get the flu shot,” said Carle’s Stefanie Schroeder, D.O. “We are starting to see a lot more of the flu in the last couple of weeks. Even getting it now would be helpful.”
Flu shots are typically offered beginning in September, and flu season kicks into high gear in November through March. Flu shots are available through a primary care physician, and their effectiveness remains intact. Beyond that, Schroeder said, people should take the time-honored precautions.
“The other thing you can do is make sure you wash your hands really well; (and) staying away from people who might be sick, which is tough with kids in school,” she said. “But making sure everybody is washing their hands, not sharing drinks, making sure you’re covering your cough.”
If you find yourself with flu symptoms, the best course of action is to visit Carle’s Convenient Care (open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week) or see your primary physician. “If you can avoid going to the ER for the flu, that would be helpful,” Schroeder said.
One key note: If you believe you have the flu, time is a key element in treatment. Doctors might be able to prescribe Tamiflu, “an anti-viral medication, if you’ve been diagnosed with the flu within the first 24 or 48 hours of having symptoms,” she said. “It does not make all of your symptoms go away, but it can lessen how severe the symptoms are.”
Carle places limits on visitors to the hospital during flu season. Visitors under 18 are not permitted in the hospital currently, and a hospital patient may only receive two visitors. The restrictions will likely be in place into the spring.
Find more information regarding Carle’s flu resources here.