This winter has been one of the worst flu seasons since records began being kept, 13 years ago. The vaccine has not been as effective in protecting against this year’s dominant strand of flu, H3N2. The 2017-18 season started early, and the H3N2 virus has been deadly, especially in children. The flu season is expected to peak now, in early February.

Protect Yourself

If you have not gotten the flu yet, one of the best ways to keep you and your family safe is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Proper hand washing technique is to work the soap into a sudsy foam and wash your hands for the amount of time it takes you to sing the “Happy Birthday” song. Preventing the spread of germs is the best way to prevent the flu. Other ways to stop the spread of germs is to cover your mouth when you cough, wash your sheets regularly, and disinfect everyday surfaces like door knobs, remote controls, and cell phones.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of the flu have not changed this year. They include fever, aches, chills, fatigue or weakness, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, cough, discomfort or pain in the chest, and headache. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have the flu. It is important to note that not all flu sufferers will have all these symptoms, including fever.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Care

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you need emergency medical care for the flu if you are experiencing any of these symptoms: difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, severe pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, persistent vomiting, or symptoms that go away but return with fever a worse cough. Symptoms that would require emergency care in infants or kids may look different. If your child or infant is sick and begins to experience the above symptoms or any of the below symptoms they should be taken to the ER: fast breathing, bluish skin, not drinking fluids, not waking up or interacting, fever with a rash, being so irritable they don’t want to be touched, significantly fewer wet diapers or no tears when crying.

Because this year’s flu virus outbreak has been so widespread, traditional emergency rooms have been overcrowded and are asking people with the flu to stay home or wait to see their primary care physician. Freestanding emergency rooms, like Five Star ER, have all the same services as a traditional ER, but without the wait. We are not overcrowded and can handle the flu this season when you need medical care. All four of our convenient locations are open 24/7, so that you can receive the same quality care you’d expect from a traditional ER.

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

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