2017 Flu Update

Joshua Strommen MD, FACEP

Influenza A and B are the two strands of virus that are known to cause the coughing, aching, feverish, nauseating, head pounding constellation of symptoms we refer to as the “flu”. Influenza is a virus that infects the upper and lower airway and is predominately seen during the winter months. As of January 2017, Texas’ region has the highest rates of healthcare visits for influenza illnesses compared to the rest of the United States!


Cold or Flu?

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Influenza Symptoms

Fever (Temp > 100.4 F)

Cough

Sore Throat

Nasal Discharge

Weakness

Muscle Aches

Headache

Nausea & Vomiting


 Is Influenza a dangerous illness?

Typically, influenza is a self-limiting virus, which means you will improve in 5-7 days with no complications.

 Influenza can be more dangerous if

  • Age over 65
  • Age < 2
  • You have Asthma, COPD, heart disease, diabetes, or kidney problems
  • You are pregnant

What are the potentially serious complications of Influenza?

Pneumonia

 How is Influenza treated?

  • If diagnosed within 48 hours of symptom onset, you may be given Tamiflu. Tamiflu is known to shorten your duration of symptoms by 1 day.
  • Tamiflu is safe for kids and pregnant women.
  • Tylenol, Ibuprofen, oral fluids, and other symptomatic medicines are perfect for treatment.

What we know about the 2016 – 2017 Influenza season

  • Only 2 out of 5 people over 6 months old is vaccinated.
  • Influenza type A has been the most identified virus by the CDC.
  • The H3N2 subtype has been isolated in most of these Influenza A samples.
  • The CDC states that the H3N2 subtype has been most associated with increased hospitalizations and death over the last decade.

How can PremiER help me?

  • We still have flu vaccines to administer for free, its not too late.
  • If your symptoms last longer than 5-7 days come see us for an evaluation.
  • If you have significant shortness of breath, chest pain, significant weakness, or if you have an extensive medical history being seen sooner rather than later is best!