After a long, hot summer here in Southern California, fall likely feels like a welcome reprieve. While cooler weather and the prospect of rain can make life more comfortable, October brings a risk with it. Specifically, it marks the start of flu season.
Don’t panic. At SmartClinic Urgent Care in West Covina and Santa Clarita, California, our flu specialists are here to help you keep yourself and your family healthy this flu season. Beyond offering the flu shot and providing care if you do get the flu — also called influenza — we also want to help you understand this viral infection.
For that, we’ve rounded up some FAQs, answering the questions we get most often about the flu.
When is flu season?
Flu season usually starts in October and lasts until spring, with activity typically peaking between December and February.
Should I get a flu shot?
Yes. Everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot each fall. Even if you do get sick, having the vaccine can protect you against getting seriously ill.
Each year, scientists develop a influenza vaccine to protect against the strains of the flu they expect to be the most common during the upcoming flu season. This shot, which you can get right here at our SmartClinic Urgent Care offices, gives you an easy way to protect yourself and your family against the illnesses that will most likely go around this winter.
How will I know if I have the flu?
Influenza comes with some hallmark symptoms, including:
- Muscle aches and weakness
- Chills and sweats
- A runny or stuffy nose
- A dry cough
- A sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting (more common in kids than adults)
- Diarrhea (also more common in children)
In short, the flu can feel a lot like the common cold or COVID-19. Here at SmartClinic Urgent Care, our team provides an accurate diagnosis so you can get started promptly with the right treatment plan based on the illness affecting you.
What do I do if I get the flu?
Most people can fight the flu at home. The keys are getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated. Within a week or two, you should be feeling better.
That said, if you’re feeling worse after a week or if you have a history of respiratory problems, we may recommend treatment. Because the flu is a viral condition, it sometimes requires treatment with antiviral medication.
Influenza is a common condition that usually runs rampant each winter. Taking steps to stay healthy, including washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with people who have symptoms, goes a long way in helping you safely navigate flu season.
To put a layer of protection in place to help prevent illness and lessen the severity if you do get sick, schedule your flu shot today by calling us at either SmartClinic Urgent Care location. Or, if it’s easier for you, just stop in at either location — as an urgent care center, we offer walk-in flu shots.