ENT and Allergy Associates (ENTA), the nation’s preeminent otolaryngology specialty and sub-specialty practice, informs the community of vital preventative measures to limit the spread of the flu this season. According to studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control, the influenza virus most commonly afflicts the public in February. In preparation for the increasing incidence of the virus, professional physicians at ENT and Allergy Associates offer tips to help identify flu symptoms and prevent the spread of the virus.
While early symptoms of the flu can mimic those of the common cold, the flu can come with additional, more dangerous symptoms. Symptoms of the common cold include sore throat, stuffy nose, sinus pain and pressure. While this may feel like the flu, you actually do not have the flu unless you have high fevers (more than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit), body aches, significant feeling of fatigue, sometimes nausea and vomiting and often a significant sore throat. If you have a fever, then you are contagious and should limit contact with others. If you think you have these symptoms, combined with the flu, it is vital that you seek medical attention, as untreated symptoms can lead to more serious and lasting conditions, including sinusitis.
“At ENT and Allergy Associates, it is vital that we create awareness around common flu symptoms and help relay commonplace practices to help prevent the spread of the flu this season,” said Dr. Bradley Block, an ENT specialist at ENT and Allergy Associates in Garden City. “It is vital that the general public is able to identify and effectively treat conditions of the flu, as untreated conditions can lead to more detrimental conditions, including painful sinusitis. In our offices, we maintain the capability to treat all shapes and sizes of the common cold and flu. We encourage all to observe these tips and be able to distinguish between the common cold and the flu.”
The best and most common way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu shot. Flu shots take two weeks to be effective while your body develops antibodies to the virus. During this time, the process of creating those antibodies and immune response can cause very minor common-cold-like symptoms for a few days. While flu shots have been implemented as the most commonplace preventative measure against the flu, it is important to note that the flu shot is not 100 percent effective.
An alternative to a traditional flu shot is a flu mist, which comes from a live but weak virus. The flu mist also does not cause the flu, but much like the vaccine, can result in mild flu-like symptoms for several days following. The mist should not be used by pregnant women, people with severe allergies to the ingredients in the flu shot, people with asthma or heart disease, children under 2, adults over 50, children or teens who take aspirin and people who have HIV or any other condition that causes immunosuppression.
The flu is rarely life threatening, but there are cases where it has been shown to be fatal, especially in older adults and young children. The doctors of ENT and Allergy Associates encourage individuals to get their flu shots and avoid the spread of the virus by limiting exposure to other people if afflicted with a fever.
To learn more about ENTA, find a local office or book an appointment, visit www.entandallergy.com.
—Submitted by ENT and Allergy Associates LLP