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What are the main symptoms of the flu?

Flu season is pretty much here as the fall comes into full swing! As more people stay close together indoors during gatherings, work, and school the flu has a greater chance of spreading from person to person.

The best way to protect against the flu virus is with an updated flu vaccine known as a “flu shot.” Patients that do not have a flu shot are likely to experience a lot of irritable and fatiguing flu symptoms.

Diagnosing the flu early can help most patients prevent further diseases, treat the disease faster, and ensure that they are ready to coordinate any symptom treatment that they may need. Make sure that you consider getting a flu shot, since it is by far the most effective way to prevent the latest flu virus.

Fevers are the first sign that patients have the flu

A sudden or unusually high fever is the first sign that you have a flu infection. Before any other common symptom, the fever is the initial symptom of a greater flu virus infection.

Unlike other diseases, the flu usually causes immediate symptoms after just a day or two, sometimes up to three. However, in those first two days a patient is likely to have a fever along with any other common symptoms. Make sure you monitor the severity of any strong headaches or a potential fever for a day or two. Follow up any symptoms by visiting a nearby urgent care provider to coordinate new treatment.

Immediate flu symptoms include sneezing, coughing, congestion, and sore throat among others

When the flu has fully spread throughout your body, then you’ll begin to notice some traditional symptoms of the flu such as sneezing, coughing, congestion, sore throat, and general respiratory irritation.

During this time, breathing becomes harder and your body is fatigued as it fights of the influenza virus. Usually, patients will need extended rest or days off in order for their body to completely fight off the flu virus.

Vulnerable patients may be hospitalized from the flu virus!

Many patients may not fully realize that the flu can especially impact the health and safety of vulnerable individuals, which leads to hospitalizations. Patients that have trouble breathing, asthma, respiratory issues, or auto-immune deficiencies may have more serve symptoms that require intensive hospital care.

To avoid the flu, simply visit a nearby urgent care center to get your flu shot and receive seasonal flu treatment for any potential flu-related illnesses!

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The most common places where the flu virus spreads

The flu virus leads to nearly 40 million flu-related illnesses each year even though it is one of the most preventable diseases. Proactive prevention of the flu virus ensures that you and the rest of your family members are able to have a healthy, happy, and safe lifestyle this fall!

A big part of preventing the flu virus is knowing how, and where, the flu virus is likely to spread. For example, certain environments can cause the flu virus to spread and pass from patients more rapidly. This happens most commonly within contained spaces. The flu is more likely to pass through direct contact, such as touching hands with an infected patient, or through airborne transmission.

Schools for younger children have some of the highest flu activity each season

Younger children between the ages of 6-12 usually have the highest incidences of flu activity and infection than other schools. Young children are still learning hygiene basics, which allows the flu to quickly grow and spread within classrooms. Additionally, young children have developing immune systems that are still susceptible to most flu-related illnesses.

Teachers, school staff, and school nurses do their best to teach children hygiene basics in order to stave off a new flu outbreak. But sometimes, schools will organize special events to help prevent the flu, even as the flu has likely taken its effect on most of the school.

Schools with older children, like middle and high school, can also lead to high flu activity since they are indoors for most of the day during peak flu season.

Offices and shared workplaces also drive flu activity significantly

An office setting or a workplace can also breed flu epidemics and outbreaks if employees don’t stay at home with the flu.

An employee that is sick may continue to come into work, which allows the flu virus to spread across the office towards healthy, uninfected employees. When this happens, the flu can begin to spread at a faster rate.

The flu is attributed to massive setbacks in production and workforce participation since many employees may not be sure if the flu is going around at their office.

Remember to get a flu shot to stay safe in flu-heavy environments!

As a friendly reminder, Centennial Medical and other affiliate medical providers offer effective flu shots for patients that are fast, affordable, and accessible flu shots any day of the week!

Simply call in advance or get directions to get your flu shot ASAP! Our walk-in clinic allows patients to get their shots without an appointment.

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Is the Seasonal Flu Shot Safe?

With flu season just around the corner, it is now the best time to get your annual flu vaccine. Many people have concerns and fears about the flu vaccine and wonder if it’s safe to take. There are many myths regarding the flu vaccine that you might hear – this is what you need to know. 

Yes, the flu vaccine is safe

Flu vaccines have been tested and monitored for years and are recommended by the CDC. A yearly flu vaccine helps give your immune system the boost it needs to stay healthy as the virus spreads in your community. The flu vaccine prevents millions of hospitalizations every year and can even prevent influenza-related deaths in severe cases. While some mild side effects are common with flu vaccines, severe reactions are incredibly rare. 

Myths about the flu shot are just that – myths

Sflu shot that have made their rounds on the internet. One of the biggest myths is that taking the flu shot can give you the flu. However, flu vaccines are made with either killed flu viruses or flu genes and therefore are not infectious. everaThis myth stems from the fact that many people get mild flu-like symptoms for a day or two after the shot. These symptoms usually include soreness and headaches, but are not dangerous and pass quickly. The symptoms mentioned above are a recation that helps to provoke an immune response and help your body build immunity against the latest influenza strain. 

Another common myth is that it’s better to get the flu than to get the flu shot. The flu is very dangerous and can lead to hospitalization and even death, particularly in people who already have chronic health conditions. Skipping the flu shot can have truly dangerous consequences, not only for yourself but for the people around you. 

The flu shot saves you time, money, and stress

Having the flu is an incredibly unpleasant experience. It comes with a host of painful symptoms, and it can take you out of work or school for several days. You also will likely need to spend money to go to the doctor for treatment, or at least to purchase over the counter health products to care for your symptoms. By getting a flu shot, you can prevent those uncomfortable sick days and save your money. 

If you have questions about the flu shot, please contact Centennial Medical Center to ask about your options. Additionally, learn more about flu shots in Laurel, MD, here! 

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Where your child can get a sport and camp physical

If your child wants to join a school sports team, athletic club, or go to a camp, chances are they going to need a physical ahead of time. Requiring kids to get physicals before going to these events helps coordinators prevent injuries and illnesses. You might be wondering where you can get a physical quickly and affordably, and why they’re so important. Here’s what you need to know. 

Sports and camp physicals are essential

Many people brush off the physical requirement, assuming that their children will still be allowed to play even if they don’t get a verified physical. However, this is usually not the case. Physicals are not only in place to protect your child, but also to protect everyone in the program. Camps and sports programs do not want to be held liable for an accident or health issue that was the result of a pre-existing condition. 

Athletic personnel use physicals to protect your child’s health

It’s important to remember that physicals can protect your child from illness and injury. During a physical, your pediatrician will check several different aspects of your child’s health. This is an opportunity for them to catch any medical conditions or potential weaknesses that they might have. You can then give that information to the staff at the camp or on the sports team. Their job is to be aware of the unique health risks that each child faces and to keep them safe. This way, your child will be less likely to get injured or sick. 

Urgent care centers are a fast and affordable place to get camp physicals

If you’re in need of a quick, but thorough physical exam for your child, head to your local urgent care center. They’ll perform all the necessary tests to make sure your child is healthy and ready to play. They place a lot of focus on efficiency, so you won’t have to take too much time out of your day to get the physical done. You can also go in without an appointment, which is incredibly helpful for busy families juggling full schedules. 

Getting a physical before sports or camp activities is not only required, but it’s a great opportunity to check in on your child’s overall health. Now is an excellent time to make sure your child gets a physical, before getting wrapped up in the hectic schedule of the school year. An urgent care center is the perfect place to make sure this gets done. 

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Sports Injury Prevention for Your Child

Sports season is just around the corner with football about to kickoff and back-to-school shopping in full swing. If your child is ready to play in any school sports, then it is helpful to understand some key prevention techniques that help lower the risk of sports injuries.

Millions of younger children and adolescents each year experience sports injuries throughout the year, which can cause a great deal of pain and interrupt their season. But the good news is that sports injuries are highly preventable if parents, coaches, and training staff apply the following skills and knowledge to student athletes:

Tech your child safety skills and proper defensive techniques on the field

Especially if your child is participating in any contact sport, teaching your kids how to safely defend themselves is an effective means for preventing injuries.

Skills such as learning how to make proper contact, fall safely, and stay alert during play are very helpful in making sure that they are not as injury-prone during play. Talk with your child’s coaches to see if there is anything else they can do avoid injuries during play.

Have your child stretch and warm up before the game to help resist injuries.

Stretching is one of the best ways to resist and prevent injuries for athletes of all ages. That is because stretching can increase flexibility, pliability, and other important muscle traits. Most athletic trainers recommend stretching or warming up at least 15 minutes before their game or match begins.

Getting in a light warm up also helps to get any other muscles limber and your body ready to compete for an extended duration of time. Without proper warm ups or stretching your child is more likely to pull a muscle or experience a sprain.

Get your child a sports physical ASAP to identify injury risks and begin the sports season!

Most public and private schools require students to get a sport or camp physical whenever they want to enroll in a recreational program or sports season. But did you know that a sport physical also helps to prevent injuries or unexpected medical events during the year?

A sports physical helps coaches, medical staff, and trainers identify potential injury risks for your child. If your child has any health concerns, then your child’s coaches and athletic personnel can help to create the safest athletic environment for your child!

Know first-aid basics and take your child to urgent care for a sports injury

First-aid basics such as bandaging wounds, disinfecting lacerations, and stabilizing sprains can help reduce pain or the severity of injuries before proper medical treatment. Community organizations such as police and fire departments usually provide first-aid training courses if you want to get a full certification.

However, if your child does experience an injury and you don’t know first aid, then make sure to flag down the appropriate medical/athletic trainer before taking them to a nearby urgent care center. Urgent care is a more convenient option for non-emergency injuries such as bruises, bone brakes, and lacerations.

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How can Drivers Prepare for their DOT Physicals?

A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical is required in order for a commercial truck driver, or a similar vehicle operator, to effectively renew their commercial driver’s license. Without approval from a medical examiner or doctor, drivers may experience significant delays in their driving career.

However, it is fairly easy to prepare for the DOT physical by taking a few necessary precautions before the test. Effective preparedness can help ensure that you pass your physical and that you won’t have to retake the exam under other circumstances. So what should drivers do in order to prepare for their DOT physicals?

Avoid heavy meals and caffeinated beverages before the exam

Whenever you begin your DOT physical, it is important to avoid heavy meals and caffeine. This is because increased food consumption and caffeine may provide a false positive for high blood pressure and other conditions that inhibit your exam.

For example, caffeine can raise blood pressure for a short period of time and may lead to a slight increase during your exam. Try and avoid that extra cup of morning coffee before the exam. Additionally, foods high in cholesterol, sugar, and fat could provide false positives for other chronic diseases.

Before your exam, take the time to eat a light breakfast that is low-fat, low-sugar, and low in caffeine. Additionally, high-salt and sodium-filled foods could raise blood pressure in the short term.

Rest and relax before your exam

Stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other chronic disease in the same way frequent consumption of unhealthy foods can. Before your DOT physical, take some time to relax and de-stress.

Use a personal day when possible to find a time that works best for you to complete the exam. Don’t try to cram it on top of your other commitments. If you need to get you exam ASAP, try visiting a medical provide that provides walk-in clinic access.

Other techniques to help you relax include getting eight or more hours of sleep, deep breathing, mediation, and other mindfulness-based activities.

Bring in all your current medical paperwork

Medical information is key to ensure that you pass your DOT physical. If you have certain health conditions that are under control, you can get exemptions for DOT requirements if you show that you’re maintaining healthy control. These include treatable medical conditions with your current prescriptions, vision aids like contacts/glasses, health activities, and similar information.

Any medical information allows your medical examiner to provide the most up-to-date picture of your health and ensure that you aren’t flagged for a false reading of an emerging chronic health condition. Take all of these tips and put them into action before your next physical to ensure your trucking career doesn’t skip a beat!

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Beginner Fitness Tips to Help Kickstart a Healthy Lifestyle

Making the decision to make healthy lifestyle changes is a big step. Once you’ve committed to a healthier version of you, it’s time to figure out how to actually achieve it. We know the process can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help! Beginner fitness is all about forming a routine and getting off to a positive start.

Make the Time

Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. This time may seem like a lot at first, but you can spread it out over 5 or 6 days of the week and still have an entire rest day! This activity can be broken up however you wish that will fit into your schedule. If that means taking a 20-minute walk during your lunch break then make sure you set aside the time to do it! A lack of time for fitness is one of the most common excuses people use, but the truth is, you really don’t need much time at all.

Don’t Get Discouraged

A new fitness routine can be discouraging. You may feel like you aren’t doing enough or progressing fast enough, but those negative thoughts will only drag you down. Try to surround yourself with positive people and positive thoughts to support your new lifestyle. If you feel yourself getting discouraged, find a workout buddy or friend to share your progress with!

Lift Weights

Weight training twice per week in addition to the aerobic activity of your choice is ideal. Lifting weights helps you to build muscle while you burn fat and interestingly enough, muscle naturally boosts your metabolism! Remember to start with a weight that you don’t have to struggle with and slowly reach higher weights overtime.

Increase Exercise Time Gradually

Once you’ve established some new healthy fitness habits, it’s time to take it to the next level. Slowly begin increasing the amount of time you spend exercising each day until you reach 300 minutes per week. That number probably seems intimidating, but it’s actually just 5 hours!

Fitness is a journey that doesn’t have a one size fits all approach. Your new fitness routine should be paired with a healthy diet for the best outcome. Avoid processed foods and eat natural, high-protein diets. You’ll have to listen to your body to achieve your fitness goals but remember, patience is the key to success!

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Sun-Related Health and Safety Tips for the Whole Family

Summertime is also sunshine time, which means that you’ll want your entire family adequately protected from health and safety risks of the sun.

Even though being outside can improve fitness and other wellness factors, you’ll want to limit any prolonged exposure to the sun whenever possible. This is because staying outside can lead to a variety of risks including painful sunburns, rapid dehydration, stroke and cardiovascular issues, and even melanoma risks.

However, there are a few tips and techniques that will allow you to stay out in the sun without experiencing any of these major healthcare risks. A list of all the best ways to keep the whole family summer-safe includes the following:

Always wear sunscreen when at the beach or outside elsewhere

Most people know that putting on sunscreen at the beach is the most effective way to reduce the chance of getting a sunburn. However, some people forget to put on sunscreen during other outdoor activities including hiking, biking, or similar recreational events.

Whenever any part of your body is exposed to the sun, there is a chance that you could get a sunburn or irritation. Make sure that you always carry SPF 30 sunscreen on your whenever you’re going outside. Additionally, make sure that your children re-apply sunscreen during sports or summer camp since it can sweat off during the day.

Drink plenty of water and have water on your persons to avoid dehydration

Summertime frolicking usually doesn’t consist of making sure you are perfectly hydrated throughout the day. But the risk of dehydration is still there if you aren’t prepared with water for any activities.

Bring a reusable water bottle if you think you’ll be outside for extended time periods in the sun. That way you will always have a way to refill and stay hydrated throughout the day. Additionally, drink water if you start to feel thirsty, light-headed, or dizzy in any way. This usually means that you’re starting to become increasingly dehydrated, which leads to potential health risks.

Take plenty of breaks in shady, cool areas when possible

Whether you are at the beach, park, or hiking trail, make sure that you relax in the shade whenever you get a chance. A break will reduce your sun exposure and allow you to rest before engaging in outdoor activities. Plus, it will allow you to adequately hydrate and apply sunscreen as needed.

Sun safety is relatively straightforward and easy if you take some time to manage your risks. Apply these skills to keep your and your family safe this summer!

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Why Your Child Needs Sport and Camp Physicals

Summer and warmer weather is just around the corner, which means your child may soon need an updated sport and camp physical to participate in recreational activities.

Most school-sanctioned sports and youth athletic activities require updated physicals in order to participate. But these exams also help your primary care provider protect your child from adverse medical effects, physical complications on the field, and other potentially dangerous situations.

But how exactly are sport and camp physicals used to protect your child? And how can you get your child an updated physical in time for sports, summer, or other recreational activities?

Sport and Camp Physicals are legally required for most activities and help recreation staff protect your child

A sport physical or summer camp physical are usually necessary before you can enroll your child in recreational groups. This is because sport and camp physicals are legally required by recreational providers and organizations so they can keep your child safe during contact.

Coaches, athletic trainers, camp counselors, and similar recreational personnel also use the information from a sport or camp physical to protect your child from their current conditions. For example, a camp counselor uses the information from the physical to ensure your child doesn’t get in contact with allergy triggers, allergic foods, or asthma triggers.

Sport and Camp Physicals are also updated annually even if your child is a recurring member of the team/camp/etc. just in case they develop some medical complication or risk from the time of their last physical.

Go to Centennial Medical if your child needs a sport or camp physical ASAP!

Whenever your child requires an updated sport or camp physical it makes sense to go to Centennial Medical!

Our team of primary care providers, medical staff, and other pediatric health experts can get your child their updated physical in just a few minutes. Patients are always provided with high-quality care whenever they visit and can come-in whenever their child requires an updated physical!

You want your child to be able to enjoy the summer fun and the summer sun without any hurdles in between. At Centennial Medical, we’ll make sure that new physicals are accurate and ready to review with physical or camp staff.

Any patient that needs to update their child’s physical should visit Centennial at 8186 Lark Brown Rd in Elkridge, MD or call us directly at 410-730-3399! You can also follow the link here to schedule an appointment in advance!

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How to Protect Yourself, And Your Children, From Measles

As you may have heard from the latest news headlines, the measles virus has made a major comeback into public light as an emerging healthcare crisis.

The latest headlines show that measles cases across the U.S have eclipsed over 830 of measles have been confirmed in 2019, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics. Measles in one of the most concerning public health emergencies since more and more communities are reporting cases of the disease.

However, it is important to understand that measles are highly preventable with medical intervention. Understand the main causes of measles, know the risks, and get your children vaccinated to prevent the disease.

Measles has spread across the U.S for three main reasons

At least 23 states have reported a single case of measles while half of those reported outbreaks of multiple cases. The CDC explains that measles continues to spread across the country for three main reasons:

International travel has increased between the U.S and other countries steadily: In part, increased international travel has allowed the measles to spread from countries with higher rates of infection to the U.S.

Parents in general are not vaccinating their children at a significant enough rate: In the year 2000, measles were virtually eradicated in the United States as vaccination rates reached an all-time high. Since then, parents have steadily decreased vaccine frequency in recent years.

Spread of anti-vaxxer campaigns and vaccine myths have contributed to lower vaccine rates: Both the CDC and the World Health Organization have declared anti-vaxxing messaging on social media and public platforms as a top-10 global health threat. This is because anti-vaxxing messages can spread much faster on social media and lead misinformed parents to make dangerous healthcare decisions

For example, many anti-vaxxers spread mistruths about the link between vaccines and autism even though there has been no proven link between both vaccines nor autism.

Get your child vaccinated ASAP to prevent measles

The best, and medically-advised, way to protect your child from the measles is to get them an updated vaccination. Most primary care providers can administer the MMR vaccine for young children when they are due for a vaccination.

Basic medical guidelines suggest children should get the updated vaccine between the ages of 12 to 16 months old as well as 4 to 6 years old. However, your primary care provider may want to first review your child’s vaccination history before giving them the vaccine.

To keep safe during the outbreak make sure you follow national and local headlines, learn where nearby outbreaks are happening, and get your child a vaccination at local primary care ASAP!

 

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