Stone County Hospital

ARTICLES ON HEALTH

REBECCA HARRIS, FNP-C FAMILY PRACTICE

REBECCA HARRIS, FNP-C
FAMILY PRACTICE

Protect Yourself Against Cold & Flu Season
with Rebecca Harris, FNP-C

The timing of the start of flu season can be very unpredictable and can differ from year to year. While most cases start in October, peak flu season is usually between December and February.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most private health plans cover “well-woman visits” and preventative care treatments, eliminating out of pocket costs to you.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM FLU THIS SEASON?

Becky Harris, SCH Nurse Practitioner, recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after the flu vaccine becomes available. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating in your community, it’s not too late to get vaccinated.

In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from those who are sick, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and washing your hands regularly to reduce the spread of germs.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM FLU THIS SEASON?

You should see your doctor or nurse practitioner as soon as symptoms begin. Studies show that prompt treatment with antiviral drugs can prevent serious flu complications. Prompt treatment can mean the difference between having a mild illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay. Treatment with antivirals works best when begun within 48 hours of getting sick, but it can still be beneficial when given later in the course of the illness.

This is extremely important to people in high-risk categories of serious flu complications such as children younger than 2 years old, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions and limited immune systems.

GET YOUR FLU SHOT TODAY!

Not sure if you just have a cold or full-blown flu? Our clinics can see walk-ins and have same day appointments that can get you on the road to a cold and flu free winter. Lunchtime appointments are also available at our Wiggins Clinic. Call 601.928.6700.