With more flu cases popping up, it's time to get serious about your flu shot if you haven't gotten it yet.
Who needs to get a flu shot? Heritage Valley Sewickley hospital, offered this list.
- Young children.
- Pregnant women.
- People with chronic health conditions, especially those related to the heart and lungs, as well as diabetics.
- People 65 and older.
- Healthcare workers or caregivers for the elderly or people with compromised immune systems or chronic health problems.
Local flu shots
To receive a flu shot, schedule an appointment with a Heritage Valley primary care physician or visit a Heritage Valley ConvenientCare location, which require no appointment and has extended hours of operation. ConvenientCare locations are an alternative to hospital emergency departments for treatment of minor illnesses and injuries.
Rite Aid is also offering flu shots for $24.99 through Dec. 15. Just walk in, no appointment needed. Pharmacy hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Allegheny County Health Department also offers flu shots at its walk-in clinic at 3441 Forbes Avenue in Oakland.
No appointment necessary:
• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
• 1 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays.
The Health Department’s walk-in clinic provides flu shots as a covered benefit to people with Medicare Part B who are not in an HMO and may get vaccine from any Medicare-approved provider.
The charge is $25 for others, including Medicare Part B subscribers in an HMO who are restricted to getting flu shots as a covered benefit only from their primary care provider.
An Ounce of Prevention
Many of the ways to prevent the spread of the flu are pretty common-sense. Here are some of Heritage Valley's suggestions.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Dispose of tissues in the trash after use.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand cleaners, especially after you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Flu? Here's What to Do
There's a difference between a common virus or cold and the flu. With a virus or cold, you'll have a runny nose, maybe a little sore throat, maybe a low-grade fever.
The flu is like all that in a knockout punch. Symptoms include high fever, headache, dry cough, extreme tiredness, vomiting, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and sometimes diarrhea.
Symptoms include severe body aches, sometimes accompanied by bad headaches, and a high fever. Parents should pay close attention to children, who may not be able to articulate that they have the flu, but might say things like "I hurt."
Quick medical treatment can alleviate the flu's misery. If you get to the doctor within 48 hours of your first symptoms, prescription medication can help shorten the length of flu symptoms. According to Heritage Valley, antiviral drugs work best if started within the first two days of symptoms.