This year, we’ve been inundated and preoccupied with COVID-19, and while we need to remain diligent in physically distancing, wearing face coverings and practicing good hygiene, we cannot forget about the importance of getting the flu shot.
Although we’re uncertain of how threatening the flu season may prove to be, but we do know that the flu will affect all ages. Taking precautions is essential. Young children, individuals with weakened immune systems, and adults 65 and over are more susceptible to the dangers of the flu, as their symptoms can quickly exacerbate into pneumonia or other disease states. As the immune system becomes weaker, the ability to fight off viruses and bacteria becomes more difficult and problematic. Although the flu can affect any age, many seniors are left much more vulnerable to the complications of respiratory infections, than healthy, younger adults, and they may require much more assistance to regain their health. This is one of the reasons why the flu vaccination is critical for staving off the flu or for shortening its duration.
How The Flu Vaccine Works
Researchers develop the seasonal flu shot dependent on which virus are thought to be the most common during that particular season. When the flu vaccine is administered, antibodies begin to develop to protect against the microorganisms within the vaccine. It typically takes about two weeks for these antibodies to advance, so keeping yourself healthy is still incredibly important during and after your flu shot.
Fatigue, body aches, chills, fever, headaches, and upper respiratory infections are common symptoms of the flu. Coughing is a significant symptom of the flu. However, coughing is actually a natural bodily reaction to excess buildup in the respiratory tract, meaning that your body is trying to clear itself of phlegm and other materials. Regrettably, this excess of fluid makes individuals more susceptible and at higher risk of developing pneumonia. Pneumonia is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. among the elderly. For this age group, there is a high dose vaccine that is recommended. This high dose vaccine is ideal for the elderly population because it contains three different flu strains, which makes warding off the flu virus, much easier. It also provides more antigens, than a standard flu shot, which is what creates the antibodies that fight the flu virus.
It’s essential to plan ahead, as there are ways to prevent the flu. Getting the flu shot is the first step, washing your hands, wiping down door handles and counter tops, avoiding large crowds if possible, getting adequate rest, and taking vitamins and supplements that boost your immune system all are effective ways to inhibit the virus.
If you or a loved one haven’t been vaccinated and become infected with the virus, there are antiviral medications that help limit the length and severity of the flu, but it has limited effects, especially for seniors. It’s important to rest and drink plenty of fluids if you’ve been exposed to the virus, as there are additional risks associated with the flu, like pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, extreme fatigue, and myocarditis.
Important Tips to Say Safe and Healthy
• Get vaccinated
• If you’re over 65, ask about the high dose flu vaccine option
• Practice thorough hand-washing often
• Cover your cough with your sleeve or a tissue
• Avoid people who are sick
• Get additional help for the elderly loved one in your life
Rivers Family Medicine
Rivers Family Medicine provides their patients with the highest quality of care; they are continually looking for innovative methods of working together with their patients to ensure that they are not only aware of but also involved in the management and improvement of their patient’s health.
River’s Family Medicine Services:
They offer a variety of onsite services for your convenience and to help assists in your care:
• In house laboratory
• Nuclear stress testing
• Pulmonary function testing
• Joint injections
• Skin biopsies and minor skin procedures
Do You Need Telehealth-Virtual Visit?
Rivers Family Medicine offers comprehensive care all within their office. They also have implemented telehealth for the convenience and safety of their patients and staff.
NOTE: All Sick Visits will only be Telehealth visit to maintain safe distances and reduce exposure.
To best serve patients they will be operating with regular business hours Monday – Thursday 8 – 5 and Fridays 8 – 12. For staff and patient protection, they are not allowing any patients to sit in the waiting room. All patients upon arrival will wait in their car outside until a Nurse can check your temperature and verify you have no common cold symptoms. If you do not feel well, please call, as the Rivers Family staff will triage, evaluate your symptoms, and direct you to the appropriate next steps for further evaluation and treatment.
new office location
coming soon to Brownwood!
For their patients convenience, Rivers Family Medicine is opening a second office in The Villages. This second office will open after the first of the year at 2771 Brownwood Blvd, The Villages 32163.
To schedule an appointment with Rivers Family Medicine, please call (352) 205-4302.
Dr. Anthony Desmarais
1503 Buenos Aires Boulevard, Building 110
The Villages, FL 32159