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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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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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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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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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Why Do Allergies Come Back in the Spring?

April means the return of baseball, warmer temperatures, and the beginning of Spring. For a lot of people, Spring is not a fun time involved for celebrating. In reality, April means allergies make a full return, limiting individuals all over the world from enjoying the normal comfort of breathing, seeing, and feeling healthy and well. Allergies may not be something that causes many fatalities, but the conflicts that arise from allergic symptoms and reactions are too much to bear for anyone. Why is it that allergies come back in the Spring? The answer is relatively straightforward.

What Spring Means for Allergies

April and May are two of the toughest months for allergy sufferers. Warmer weather and breezy Spring days are a detriment to millions of Americans and the battle against pollen and other air particles. When the weather warms up, that marks the season of plant life, kickstarting a process of green growing everywhere and flowers budding once more. Unfortunately, all of the pollen and plant particles that make things look pretty can fill the air with harmful substances for those who suffer from allergies.
Tree Pollen Returns to the Air

A lot of people understand pollen to come from flowers, but tree pollen is the biggest trigger of Spring allergies. Not only do trees begin to bud in the April and May months, but pollen builds on the branches that float effortlessly in the wind and into the homes and offices of people in all 50 states. This year, the pollen in trees is even more harmful because of the mild winter season. Pollen can take months to start building, leading to peak levels in May. Unfortunately, warmer December and January months mean pollen in trees is ahead of schedule.

Wind Spreads the Threat All Over

A significant impact on allergic reactions to air particles is the wind. Tree pollen and other allergy-related substances such as mold are carried in the breeze all over the country. That means at any time, the outdoors can be carrying millions of particles that react poorly with those dealing with an allergy. It is impossible to stay indoors at all times, so those who suffer are forced to fight the elements. Avoiding excessive time outside or outdoor athletic activity that increases breathing are essential ways to fight against the wind.

There are a lot of allergies that kick in during the start of April, and wind and trees play a vital role in the spreading of allergy-triggering particles. Be ready: the allergy season is starting early and fast in 2019.

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The Benefits of Protective Eyewear for Youth Athletes

The future of youth athletics involves a higher understanding of what makes sports so many love worth playing. Of all the various ways to enjoy the sport, nothing comes above safety. Basketball, baseball, and hockey are all youth sports beginning to look into protective eyewear for children playing games. More are sure to follow, especially considering the numerous benefits to the practice of utilizing goggles and the safety features that come with them.

Why Wear Protective Goggles?

Children are a vulnerable population for a few reasons. To start, the kids playing sports at a young age are still learning control over the body and motor functions. Even at 10 or 11 years old, the athletic ability can be limited to the extent of flexibility and speed. Otherwise, the body is still growing and forming. This means that there are a lot of random moments where a child may still not have control over movements.
Additionally, sports are relatively new to young athletes. The rules and correct ways to play are not always known. For example, a young girl playing baseball may not know to wait until a teammate is looking to throw the ball. Likewise, a young boy may hit a hard shot on the hockey rink during practice without someone in full gear. A few other things cause harm to children that involve a natural learning curve, but of course, protective goggles can help with all of these threats.

Eye Protection from Harm

The eyes are very vulnerable in many team sports. Even golf and tennis can find users experiencing eye injuries. Children wearing eye gear are more protected and less likely to suffer eye damage, scratching, piercing, or blindness.

Incredible Materials for Near Total Safety

Polycarbonate, which most sports safety goggles are made of, is 10 times as protective as any other plastic. That means even the hardest blows from a ball, puck, or other children will not pierce the goggles and keep the child’s eyes safe. The benefits of wearing glasses are almost inarguable. There are so few reasons to avoid safety eyewear in youth sports that the only thing standing in the way of a child’s safety are the adults set to protect the wellbeing of all participants.

The safety of youth athletes is a longstanding movement in sports and needs to continue with the implementation of eyewear. Given all the benefits, it is the best thing for all involved.

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Should Your Child Get the Flu Shot?

Being a parent comes with many decisions that you have to make on a regular basis. What foods will you serve your child, what school will they go to, when to put them to bed, and so much more. One of the more critical and challenging decisions that parents face is rather or not to vaccinate your child. Of course, there are many vaccines to make that decision on, but today we’re going to take a closer look at the flu vaccine.

Why is the Flu Vaccine Important?

The flu vaccine is a vaccination your child should receive each year at the beginning of flu season, but it’s never too late to make the decision to get them vaccinated. The flu vaccine effectively lowers the likelihood of your child developing the flu by 40 – 60 percent. While those aren’t percent numbers, they’re much better than 0 percent protection! Think about it like putting a seatbelt on when you get into the car. Does it ensure with 100% certainty you won’t get injured in a crash? No, but it dramatically improves your odds. Even knowing that it isn’t perfect, you still choose to put the seatbelt on because some certainty is better than none. The same goes for the flu vaccine!

How Serious is the Flu?

In 2017 fewer people decided to receive their flu shot than in recent years. Many of the people making that choice for themselves or their child fail to realize the harsh reality of just how serious the flu is. In 2017, 80 thousand people died from the flu in the US alone, including many children. The majority of those children that did die from the flu had no underlying medical condition or cause of death. Something as simple as a flu vaccine could have prevented many of those deaths and even more hospitalizations. Choosing to vaccinate your child means wanting to take any possible measure you can to protect their life. Your child receiving their flu shot helps to protect them, as well as anyone they come in contact with from them carrying and spreading the flu.
Remember, it’s never too late to get your child vaccinated! Many walk-in clinics, urgent cares, and doctor offices still carry the flu shot, and you can get your child vaccinated in minutes. Make the decision the protect the most important thing to any parent – the safety of your child.

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Redefining Health

Health and fitness are a topic that has stayed at the front of peoples minds for decades, but in 2019 the way people view health is changing. Many of these changes are for the better but understanding what they are and why they’re occurring is essential to keep up with the current times. Forget about crash diets and impossible exercise routines because health has expanded far beyond those fads!

A Lifestyle Change

People have begun to view health as much more than a diet or temporary occurrence. Instead, people are turning their health into their lifestyle. Making daily choices that benefit their overall health has become a priority, rather than temporary changes that offer quick results. The aim is to improve the body from the inside out, starting with the most critical area for health, the gut. People are turning to foods that promote gut health and proper digestion because it has been proven that once your gut health is in line, everything else will soon follow. Rather than going on a crash diet for a month or two, people have begun making lifestyle changes that are attainable in the long-term.

It Isn’t About Weight Loss

Health and weight loss were once synonymous in many people’s minds, but that’s no longer the case. While many of the healthy lifestyle choices people make may result in weight loss, it isn’t the goal that they have going into it. Instead, people are working to improve their mental clarity, energy, sleep quality, and overall sense of wellbeing. Weight loss will aid in all of those areas but making it an added perk rather than the desired goal has created a new sense of caring about every aspect of your health.

Plant Based Changes

The plant-based eating movement no longer applies only to vegans and vegetarians. A dialogue is becoming more and more popular that promotes being plant-based as much as possible, even if you don’t commit to a full vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Cutting out dairy, having three meat-free days per week, and other more attainable plant-based choices are growing in popularity. People are beginning to acknowledge that plants are able to provide even better fuel for your body and mind than traditional animal-based products. There’s been a rise of plant-based restaurants, grocery stores, and more as this health trend takes off. It’s expected that the plant-based diet will continue to grow in popularity for years to come.

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