Protect Yourself from the Flu
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautions that healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Some people, including children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.
Don't Procrastinate, Vaccinate
The best protection against the flu is an influenza vaccination, also called a flu shot. The flu shot contains three seasonal flu viruses that cause your body to build up antibodies capable of fighting off those strains. The viruses are inactivated or killed, so you can't get the flu from a flu shot, according to the CDC.
Where to Get Your Flu Shot
Visit one of our locations for a flu-shot. Walk-ins are welcome, but you may want to make an appointment. Please do not go to the emergency room for your flu shot.
Washington Urgent Care
2500 Mowry Avenue, Suite 212, Washington West Building, 2nd floor, Fremont
Phone: (510) 791-2273
6236 Thornton Ave, Newark
Phone: (510) 248-1860
Click here for Directions
Warm Springs Clinic
46690 Mohave Drive, Fremont
Phone: (510) 248-1065
Nakamura Clinic, Union City
33077 Alvarado Niles Rd. Union City
Phone: (510) 248-1500
Although seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January or later, flu season can begin as early as October. Because it takes about two weeks to develop immunity after vaccination, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated as early in the fall as possible.
People considered to be at high risk include:
- Children under age 5 - and especially those under 2 years old
- People over age 65
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, asthma, heart disease, liver disorders and kidney disorders
If you do get sick with the flu, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. There are prescription antiviral drugs available that can reduce the severity of the illness and shorten the duration, but it's important to use these drugs within the first couple of days after the onset of symptoms. You can also use over-the-counter symptom relievers, cough syrup, throat lozenges, hand sanitizer, tissues, and soup.
Do You Have the Flu?
Symptoms of the flu may include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
Some people, particularly children, also may experience vomiting and diarrhea. People infected with the flu also may have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
Steps you can take to avoid catching the flu include washing your hands often with soap and water and trying to avoid close contact with sick people. Getting a flu vaccine is really your 'best shot' for avoiding the flu.
For more information about the flu, visit www.cdc.gov/flu. To find out how to get a flu vaccination, call Washington Hospital's Health Connection hotline at (800) 963-7070. To learn about upcoming Washington Hospital classes and seminars that can help you stay healthy, visit www.whhs.com.