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Winter Wellness: Convenient Care a Viable Option Throughout the Flu Season

Throughout the month of December, Valley-Wide Health Systems will be sharing information regarding Winter Wellness and how to stay physically and emotionally healthy during the Winter Season, as well as tips for keeping your teeth healthy. In the article below, Dr. Scott DeRuiter, a physician at Convenient Care Community Clinic, shares some tips to pay attention to if you are not feeling well.

The Valley-Wide Health Systems Convenient Care Community Clinic has confirmed a few cases of Influenza A for this 2018-2019 season. Last year, the Convenient Care Community Clinic saw over 12,000 patients throughout the flu season and is equipped to handle acute care needs during this busy season.

Influenza symptoms typically come on suddenly with some but not necessarily all of the following:

  • fever above 100.4 F
  • extreme tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose

Do you need to race into your health care provider and place a mask on while waiting to be evaluated? The answer is YES if:

  • You are older than 65 
  • You are younger than 5 
  • You are pregnant
  • You have a chronic medical condition
  • You are currently overweight with BMI greater than or equal to 40.

If you do not meet any of these criteria but are living in close contact with someone with any of the aforementioned conditions, your health care provider may want to treat you as well. Also immediate medical attention warranted if you or a family member is:

  • breathing fast
  • turning blue / having blue lips
  • feeling pain in the chest
  • feeling or acting confused
  • struggling to drink fluids
  • a child is refusing to be held or experiencing severe vomiting
  • is improving from the flu but then gets sick again with fever or cough

Other key points:

  • It is recommended to not go to work or school until you have not had a fever above 100.4 F, are off Tylenol for at least 24 hours, and your cough has resolved to avoid spreading the airborne virus to people with weakened immune systems as the virus could cause more serious complications for those individuals.
  • Develop the habit of never directly touching your nose or mouth and always covering your cough with a shoulder, elbow or into tissue that you immediately discard.
  • Encourage your loved ones to stop reusing that tissue they are coughing in and wash hands and cleanse surfaces often.
  • The typical clinic test for the flu can miss up to 50% of cases, understand that your care provider may make diagnosis of influenza without the test or even if the test is negative.
  • Not every person with the flu needs an antiviral medicine, but some people do.
  • Remember to remind family members to not give aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin to children younger than 18 as it can cause a serious problem called Reye syndrome.