The flu vaccine is the best and most important step to prevent flu. Although it is still possible to get sick even after vaccination, the flu shot helps reduce the severity of the illness. Because of this protection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older receive the vaccine.
Vaccination is particularly important for those who are at high risk of developing flu-related complications, including:
- Adults age 65 years and older
- Pregnant women
- Residents in nursing homes or long-term care facilities
- Children younger than 5, but especially younger than 2 years of age
- People who have medical conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, chronic lung disease and weakened immune systems, among others
The flu is very contagious and can be transmitted to others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after the illness begins. Remember, too, that it takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to develop in the body.
How Do I Prevent the Flu?
There are a few things you and your family can do to stay proactive and protect yourselves from the flu. Lee Health experts ask our community to:
- Get the flu vaccine as well as the pneumococcal vaccine (a secondary illness).
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands as often as possible.
- Stay home from work when you are sick, and keep your children home from school.
- Cover your cough and sneezes. If you use a tissue, please throw it away.
- Avoid close contact to people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces at home, work, or school especially if someone is sick.
- Practice good general health practices: Get plenty of sleep, stay active, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthier food.
How Does the Flu Spread?
Here are some tips from Lee Health’s Mary Beth Saunders, D.O., system medical director, Epidemiology and Infection Prevention, about the various places we can catch the flu and other germs, including:
- Restrooms – buttons, levers, handles, any high-touch area
- Buttons and hand rails – ATMs, store checkouts, staircases, elevators, escalators
- Gym equipment
- Shopping carts
- Gas pumps
- Desks – keyboards, phones, mouse, stapler, ink pens
- Kitchen sponges, handles, countertops
- Accessories – purses, jewelry
Where Do I Go For Treatment?
The most important thing for you and your family to know is that we strongly urge you to visit one of our four Lee Health Convenient Care locations if you have the flu.
Our clinics are specifically designed to treat flu symptoms in a much easier and faster way than emergency rooms, which handle life-threatening medical issues. As more seasonal residents return and ER wait times increase, you will have a much easier time at Convenient Care.
Convenient Care clinics feature state-of-the-art technology, skilled physicians and technicians, and provide quality care for adults and children in a cost-effective, comfortable environment. No appointment or referral is necessary, and most insurance is accepted.
Lee Convenient Care - Metro Pkwy
13340 Metro Pkwy, Suite 100 Fort Myers, FL 33966Fax: (239) 343-0499
Lee Convenient Care - Page Field
4771 S Cleveland Ave Fort Myers, FL 33907Fax: (239) 343-9848
Lee Convenient Care - Pine Island Rd
1682 NE Pine Island Rd Cape Coral, FL 33909Fax: (239) 424-1649
Golisano Children's Urgent Care Center
3361 Pine Ridge Rd, Suite 101 Naples, FL 34109Fax: (239) 254-5921