While fall brings many pleasant changes – including cooler weather and colorful fall foliage, it also marks the beginning of flu season. The influenza virus can cause mild to severe illness and, in some situations, can lead to death. Individuals with a greater risk of developing flu-related complications include children younger than five years old, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, women up to two weeks postpartum, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and those with certain medical conditions like asthma, heart disease and blood disorders.
At Winston Medical Center, our mission is to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Winston County and surrounding communities. One way we do this is by making sure our neighbors and friends have the information they need to stay healthy and fight preventable diseases, like the flu. Given the fact that flu season is now upon us, we want to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this illness. The good news is that there are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself, prevent the disease from spreading, and speed up recovery from the flu, in case you do get sick.
The first and most important step is to get vaccinated. This is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu virus. While it is still possible to contract the flu after receiving a vaccination, it is much less likely. And if you do get sick, studies have shown that flu vaccinations can make your illness milder. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone six months and older, with any age-appropriate flu vaccine. If you are considering a nasal spray flu vaccine, it is important to know that this option is approved by the CDC for use in non-pregnant individuals, ages two through 49, and that there is a precaution against this option for those with certain underlying medical conditions. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best flu vaccination method for you.
If you or a loved one begins to notice symptoms including coughing, sore throat, fever or upper respiratory symptoms, please see your healthcare provider right away.
During flu season and year-round, Winston Medical Center is here to help with your healthcare needs. To get your flu vaccination, contact any Winston Medical Clinic. All three locations accept walk-ins. WMC-Main Street Clinic: 662-773-5704, Winston Medical Clinic-Hospital Campus: 662-773-3503 and Winston Medical Clinic-Noxapater: 662-724-4051.