Early indications show that this may be a difficult season

By, Banner Health

Banner Health flu experts are “preparing for the worst’’ for the upcoming flu seasons as early flu cases in Australia and even in the U.S. indicate that this season may be worse than others.

“We look at Australia, where it is their winter season right now, and they are getting hit hard by the flu. They are having a heavier than typical flu season, so we are preparing for the worst,’’ said Devin Minior, MD, physician executive at Banner Urgent Care. Banner Urgent has locations in Phoenix, Tucson and Colorado. (Minior is pronounced “minor”)

Australian officials say they treated record-breaking numbers of flu patients this season. In the U.S., a four-year-old California boy died from influenza earlier this month.

“At this point, we would advocate getting the flu shot as soon as possible,’’ Minior said. Flu shots are available at Banner Urgent Care clinics; $0 copay with most insurances. “I would recommend not putting it off because we really don’t know when the flu season is going to start.’’

For some, there is an alternative to flu shots: FluMist, a nasal spray that can be prescribed for people from two years old to 49 years old, if they are healthy and not pregnant.

“Early signs are showing that is very effective against the flu,’’ Minior said.  

Why do some people feel crummy after getting a flu shot? “Some individuals have different reactions to the flu shot. Some people get soreness at the vaccination and others may get cough, cold or small fever. That’s just a natural reaction to the chemical of the vaccine going into the body.’’

Danger posed to children by the flu: “Children typically don’t; have a strong immune system until after they reach their teenage years and they develop a full immune response. So, they are more susceptible to any type of illness.’’

Number-one tip to stay healthy: “First and foremost is good hand hygiene. Continue washing your hands with soap and water and as an alternative you can use an alcohol-based rub.’’

About Banner Urgent Care
Banner Urgent Care provides a close, convenient and affordable treatment option for patients with non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries such as cold and flu; ear, eye and throat infections; fevers; skin rashes; and sprains, strains and lacerations. Banner Urgent Care is open every day of the year and accepts most insurance plans. For more information, locations and hours of operation, please visit:
www.BannerHealth.com/urgentcare

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